Samsung Acquires Boxee for $30 Million

boxee live tvSamsung just stepped up their game in the Set Top Box division by purchasing Israeli and NYC based Boxee streaming media. Boxee came out in 2007 as streaming TV media started to gain traction. Companies like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, Vudu and more created apps which could be seen on the Boxee Entertainment System. Even Techpodcasts and Blubrry have channels on the Boxee system.

Boxee had a physical and software presence at the start, debuting on June 16, 2008 – you could download the Boxee software on PC or Mac. Last year, Boxee discontinued that service to focus on their $249 set top box.

Although Boxee has been a distant 4th on set top box marketshare, they did push the game forward in January when they debuted the Boxee Cloud DVR. This is an add-on that connects and turns the Boxee into a DVR.

The Marker first broke this story (Hebrew Website) stating that Samsung will continue to employee Boxee staff – about 40 employees. Boxee was on the market, which AllthingsD reported last month.

Samsung already has software built into smart TVs. Boxee will most likely replace the software and be included in future Samsung mobile devices.

Boxee Shows off Their OTA Device

Boxee announced an over-the-air solution for TV a few months ago, but now the tiny dongle that makes it possible is available on the market.  They were at CES last month to show it off and TPN got a look.  Boxee has become a leader in pulling in internet TV, but they have finally come up with an answer for those looking to watch live content like sports.

You can do this with a PC hooked to your TV and some third-party purchased software, but Boxee wraps it all into your set-top box.  The cool thing here is social recommendations.  You can see what your friends are watching, but only if that is shared information, which is your choice.

You will need the Boxee Box for this new dongle to work, because it won’t work on a computer regardless of the OS.  It’s available now for $49 with no monthly fee.  You can find out more at Boxee.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.

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GNC-2011-11-12 #722 CES 2012 Support Needed

Ok for the business folks out there that need some extra exposure. I have a ridiculous deal for you, get heard and seen on this show through the dates below.. Pony up to the bar and help support the Support staff for CES 2012. All moneys earned will go towards those team members support cost for the show.

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Boxee Adding Digital Television Signal via Dongle

Boxee Live TV Dongle

Boxee Live TV Dongle

If you run your Boxee through a computer monitor rather than a flat screen TV, or just don’t want to flip to the terrestrial line, well fret no more. Boxee has launched Live TV – a USB dongle that will connect to your cable or antenna so you can watch television straight from the box!

The Live TV stick is an HD antenna that provides Boxee Box owners with local channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CW and any other over-the-air channel you might get. The Live TV will be available in January 2012 for $49.

“Last year, 89 of the top 100 shows were on broadcast networks – they remain the most popular channels on cable.” says Boxee CEO Avner Ronen on the Boxee blog. ” The Superbowl, the World Series, the Oscars, the Grammys, presidential debates and addresses, the Olympics… they’re all on broadcast. Yes, there are hundreds of cable channels, but make a list of the stuff you actually watch. You will probably find that most are on broadcast and the rest are available on Vudu/Netflix/Network sites.”

For $49, you get the dongle. I would guess there is no need for a remote, like a regular TV to PC dongle, because it could be controlled via the Boxee software.

Boxee screen

Boxee screen

Keep in mind, any over-the-air channel might not be in full HD. Primary HD channels could be in 1080p, 1080i, 720p or less. If a channel has a 2nd and 3rd sub-channel (ex: Channel 3.1 is the primary, Channel 3.2 and 3.3 are sub-channels), those would most likely run at 480i. If the Primary channel wants to run 1080p, it would have to turn off the sub-channels to do so.

Also keep in mind about the signals of over-the-air TV. The farther away from the antenna you are, the better chance of channel breakage you could get.

If you can get past that, this might be a great way to connect the TV to your… well, TV. Of course, if you haven’t cut the cable yet, you can also connect your cable to this and funnel those channels through your Boxee.

GNC-2011-11-10 #720 No Aliens?

Well no video tonight, I failed to hit record :( Enjoy the Audio :) Lots of great tech content, I am wrapping up a great week here in the Nations Capitol. Headed back to Honolulu which is hosting APEC so that should be fun.. Thanks for listening.

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Mike Baine – Associate Producer

Netflix Kills Qwikster, DVD by Mail Still Netflix. Suffers $200 Dollar a Share Loss.

netflix logoMaybe it was the weird spelling, the fact it was too close to Qwikstar (the Amway rebrand) or the twitter is owned by the Pot Smoking Elmo. Nonetheless, Netflix announced today they will not be seperating the company into two. Netflix DVD rental will still be $8 (with an additional $8 for streaming).

How Netflix Screwed themselves in the last 3 Months.

In July, Netflix came to the realization their service was not priced efficiently for the company to make a profit. Therefore, they announced by Sept 1st, they would be changing price plans.

The service separated the streaming from the DVD rental. For $8, you could get one DVD at a time. Add another $8 and you could get Netflix streaming. It was a move that happened too fast, so people lashed back.

Last month, Netflix’ CEO Reed Hastings outlined plans to separate the DVD by mail business and give it’s own name – Qwikster. People started speculating Netflix was planning to sell the DVD mail side and focus more on streaming. Within 14 days, Netflix saw a major decline of customers (Some calling the idea “Qwikstupid”) .

Netflix stock dropped almost $100 a share from Septembers’ announcement, and over $200 a share from July. Netflix lost millions of dollars in the last 90 days with these changes. Needless to say, this is not a great business plan.

What Netflix Needs to Do to Recoup this Large Deficit.

First of all, it would be a VERY GOOD idea to offer at least 1 free month to current customers (although 3 months would be better). After all, these are the people that stuck through it all. Next – cut the service price for DVD rental and streaming. Meet in the middle – $12 a month for 1 DVD at a time and streaming.

Reed Hastings also needs to put together a very big public apology. I don’t think it’s time for him to pass the CEO reigns just yet, but maybe Netflix needs to shake up the board a bit. This was a horrible idea that was ultimately agreed upon by the directors.

Will You Go Back to Netflix?

This is the biggest question. After all these bad decisions, would you choose to go back to Netflix? They do have the most coverage in streaming options, being on most Over the top TV solutions and game consoles. Still, loosing 1/3 of their operating share makes you wonder if they can ever get back to the $300 / share peak they enjoyed back in July.

I personally use the Netflix streaming service – I abandoned DVD rentals simply because they sat on the coffee table for weeks at a time. With new additions in AMC’s Walking Dead and Discovery’s Mythbusters to streaming, I have a month’s worth of shows to watch. Tron Legacy also showed up this month, which gives me more of what I really crave – top movies that are only a year old.

SEC College Sports Come to Boxee

Yesterday Boxee announced that SEC Digital Network has launched their college sports app for the Boxee platform.  For those who don’t, SEC is the Southeaster Conference.  They cover all areas of college sports for the member schools.    You can visit their website for more information.  The app features news, specials, highlight, full games, and a lot more.

The feature set, as announced by Boxee, will include:

SEC Today
News and highlights, these daily updates keep you up to date on any major developments from around the conference. SEC Today also offers team previews for all of SEC football.

Specials
Watch classic documentaries focused on SEC Sports, profiles of great SEC players who’ve gone pro, or interviews of current SEC coaches.

Full Games
Rewatch some of the greatest SEC games of the past 20 years. Plus watch many of the best football games from last season. All of the games are totally free to watch, so stop worrying about wearing out those VHS tapes of last season’s football games and stream some of the best games whenever you want.

My Library
Shop the SEC OnDemand streaming VOD store for a library of over 700+ full-length historic and current SEC games. This season’s games are available as soon as midnight the following Saturday. All videos you buy there are automatically accessible on Boxee through the SEC Digital Network app’s My Library section.

According to claims, the app wil include exclusive content that won’t be available anywhere else.  If you own the Boxee Box, or use their software on a PC or Mac, and are a college sports fan, then this will be the best $0 you ever spent.  To find out more about Boxee, you can visit Boxee.tv.

GNC #678 Do they Want Control?

Geek News Central Podcast Congrats to our winner! I give you all some insight into what has been happening physically with me, I am on the mend hopefully and back to normal activities. I know your going to love the show lots of high charged tech tonight.

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School is back in Court.
Shuttle at the ISS!

Show Notes:
Chromebook Unboxing.
Apple Blinks.
Can he help Internet Television?
IPV6 Overview!
IPV6 Thougths.
Can they tame the wild West?
Microsoft has to pay up.
The Wii U?
NBC Universal Olympics.
Web Video World at CES 2012.
GMediaFinder.
Boxee UK.
Panasonic and AT&T Team Up.
App Forensics!
How did she get Elected?
Groupon Loyalty Cards.
WP7 to beat iPhone?
120,000 Promoted Tweets.
Tweets Decline after Weiner.
Texting on Decline?
Skype + Canada + New Int Rates = Savings!
Anon threatens NATO!
iOS 5 Features you may have missed.
Judges Revenge Saves P2P Victims.
CitiGroup 200k Accounts Hacked.
Chrome New Security.
Chromebook Teardown.
Google Cloud and Trust.
Academic Copyright Lawsuit.
Weird ICE PSA Ads.
NASA needs Cash.
Soyuz Arriving.
Android Market Phone Matrix.
At&T Most Calls Dropped!
Kiddie Porn or Freedom of Speech Domain Seizure?
Reasons to like HTML5.
Windows Phone App Porting made Easy.
Bing Webmaster Tools!
Skype Savings!
Gaming Tower.
Ultimate iPhone Accessory.

GNC #673 Whats up with the Weather

Geek News Central Podcast Back in Honolulu and the weather is fantastic. Lots of controversial topics on today’s show. Hope that you will chime in and provide some feedback. Bit of a comedy on tonights show as the lower third in the video had a mind of its own.

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GNC Shows
Robot Underpants
Gadget Professor
Saturday Morning Tech

Listener Links
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Show Notes:
Mobile Workers cranking out the hours.
The Battle for Muni Broadband!
Online Poker Convictions.
iPhone5 Curved Screen.
YouTube to Pre-Roll?
How young is to young for Facebook.
Apple to Lodsys Back Off.
RIAA exec roll in cash.
RIAA new Agenda.
Smart TV on the Move.
Root a Droid give up Movie Rentals.
Is DigitalTrends going Political?
Broadband still slow in the US!
Linking contention continues.
T-Mobile makes Pricing Changes.
When Unlimited really is not Unlimited.
Billguard a New CC tracking Service.
Twitter Features / Dev Contention Grows.
Google Chrome Version 99987654561?
Spending more with Amazon?
iPad 2 Shortages Expected.
Spacewalk #2
Endeavor Cleared for Landing.
ICE takes more Domains.
Hurt Locker 25k Lawsuits!
Firefox Download tab.
Windows 8 Slate Versus Tablet?
Viddy!
Premium Content to Boxee!
Evernote 100k Giveaway.
ISS + Shuttle + Soyuz = Great Picture.
Soyuz Safe Landing.
100,000 feet View.
Mercury Images!
Cassini and Titan!
Parkinson’s Discovery!
Firefox 5 Beta.
Google OS Update.
Whats going on in California?
TSA perfoms Prom Pat downs?
Tweetdeck = Twitter.
Lady Gaga Kills Amazon.
Sony -171 Million.

Boxee Opening European Office in London

Following on from the previous post, Boxee have announced that they’re opening a European office in London. In an email to Boxee users, they said that Wil Stephens will be setting up shop to bring more content to the UK audience and will be working with D-Link to get more boxes into more stores. They’ll also be hiring staff so watch their Twitter feeds and Facebook pages if you are interested.

And to celebrate, Boxee is having a meet-up on 7th June in East London at an undisclosed bar. It’s an RSVP affair (and £5 in) but they’ll be showing off some new content partners and giving away some Boxees. And if you can’t make it in person, it’ll be streamed live on the Boxee as well.