Boxee took the next step in developing their brand, announcing the upcoming release of Boxee TV. The upgrade, due out on November 1, allows viewers to combine live TV programming, DVR, and streaming services like Netflix and Vudu.
Boxee TV Features
Boxee TV allows you to watch your favorite shows on over the air broadcast channels, as well as unencrypted cable channels, if you have a HDTV antenna. Boxee TV can function as a DVR in addition to bringing you live, over-the-air TV. The biggest difference between the DVR you get from the cable or satellite company and what Boxee TV offers is that there is no hard drive limiting how much you can record at once because everything is stored on a cloud service. Even better, you have the ability to watch what you record via DVR anywhere. All you need to do is log in on Boxee TV’s website to access your recorded programs and set future recordings.
Boxee TV hardware is $99 and if you want to add the cloud DVR, it’s an additional $14.99 a month. For those who don’t need or want the unlimited DVR feature that comes with the cloud, Boxee announced there is a free version with a limited amount of recording space allotted, though that number has not been determined yet.
Boxee TV will roll out across the country on November 1, with a caveat that the cloud DVR feature will starting in only in the eight largest television markets — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.
There are several companies that can be seen as viable competition for Boxee and the new Boxee TV.
Apple TV is one of the best known competitors for Boxee TV. It carries the same $99 price point but has yet to advance into the realm of live television. Apple TV does offer a fair selection of streaming video content through the iTunes store. However, the Apple TV iTunes store has a smaller selection than the iTunes store for your PC.
Roku offers several different options ranging in price from $49.99 to $99.99 for those interested in gaming, extra USB and Ethernet ports, along with the ability to stream in 1080p. Roku’s drawback is that they lack the functionality of streaming services like Vudu and YouTube, as well as compatibility with iTunes.
PlayOn may be the biggest threat to Boxee TV’s market. For $79.99 for a lifetime membership or $39.99 for the first year and $19.99 each year thereafter, customers that use PlayOn get the TV streaming functionality the new Boxee TV offers. PlayOn includes the broadcast networks plus channels like the Food Network, CNN, MTV, ESPN3, TBS, and others. PlayOn is also regularly updated in an effort to improve the product.
Google TV is brought to you by your good friends at Google and attempts to do much of what Boxee TV does, incorporating streaming media from sites like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon’s Video on Demand, HBO Go and more along with live television. Google continues to roll out new apps through the Google Play store in an effort to expand their share of the market.
Do you think that Boxee TV will make an impact on the streaming media market?