Home Industry Deals Samsung acquires Boxee

Boxee, a pioneering video streaming company, has been acquired by Samsung, which will use it to compete in the growing Internet TV market.

Media streaming startup Boxee has been acquired by Samsung for an undisclosed amount (Wikipedia says around US$30 million). Its best known product is the Boxee Box, which was released in 2010. It is one of first of the new breed of media centre set-top boxes popularised by the Apple TV.

It won five awards at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, including Best Home Entertainment. The Boxee Box was co-developed by Chinese company D-Link, which manufactures it. It has been available in Australia for most of that time, through OfficeWorks and some other retailers. The Box is a smart looking device, a black cube that sits at an odd angle. It has a nifty little mini keyboard.

Oddly, Samsung has made no announcement about the acquisition, but has confirmed it to The New York Times. The news was announced in a simple statement on Boxee’s website:

We’re pleased to announce that the Boxee team will be joining Samsung. We started on this journey six years ago, and have been at the forefront of the changing TV and video landscape. We believe that over the next few years the video market will change even more than it has in the past few decades.

Joining Samsung means we will be able to work on products that marry the best hardware and software in the TV space, products that will be used by tens of millions of people and will help to shape the future of TV.

Graeme Philipson owns a Boxee Box. Go to the next page to see what he thinks of it


 CONFESSIONS OF A BOXEE BOX OWNER

I love my Boxee Box. I’m the only person I know who owns one. I got it after some guy at a party raved about it. I went down to OfficeWorks and plonked down my $250 and bought it. Great buy.

Unlike the crippled Apple TV (which I also use a lot) it plays any file type, in 1080p with great sound. It’s got limited storage, so I pugged a cheapo 2 TB disk into its USB slot. Works a charm, sorts everything nicely, lets me cruise the Net, plays YouTube through the TV – lots of other things too. If one was (hypothetically speaking) to use BitTorrent to download, say, Game of Thrones (hypothetically speaking), you could watch it in beautiful hi def on your Boxee Box (hypothetically speaking).

I have a smart TV now, but I wouldn’t be without my Boxee Box. And if you have a perfectly good TV and don’t want to replace it with an Internet connected device, but you want that functionality, just buy one of these little beauties.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

 

 

 

 

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