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Summary: Boxes latest device is an overt jab at cable companies. But will cord cutters take notice?
Boxee, maker of media streaming devices like the Boxee Box, is trying something new with Boxee Live TV, a device that takes aim at cable companies and the consumers defecting from them.
The $49 Live TV adaptor plugs into the Boxee Box, allowing users to watch high-definition broadcast networks like CBS, ABC, and Fox without a cable suscription. While consumers are already able to do this with a standard antenna, Boxee’s offering does it all within the Boxee interface.
Boxee says that because the Live TV is focused on live television, it won’t come with any DVR features, which is a pretty big omission for a device of its kind. Boxee, however, maintains that the functionality could come to the device in the future if there is enough consumer interest.
In a post announcing the device, Boxee CEO Avner Ronen says that he wants Boxee Box to be an alternative to the services offered by cable companies, which he says are not in touch with the way an increasing number of people is watching television. “The cable companies’ efforts to adapt are more focused on protecting a decades-old business model than delivering a great experience to their customers,” he writes.
Streaming and on-demand services, on the other hand, offer a better option. “We believe the combination of Netflix/Vudu/Vimeo/TED/etc. with over-the-air channels delivers a much better experience for less money,” Ronen writes.
Of course, the big question here is why the features offered in the Live TV adaptor aren’t a part of the default functionality of the Boxee Box itself. Either way, Boxee Live TV is sure to be a pretty compelling buy when it ships in January.
Ricardo Bilton writes for ZDNet's The ToyBox. His work has appeared in The Japan Times, The New York Observer, and The International Business Times, among other publications.