November 1, 2012
Walmart Stores To Start Carrying Boxee TV Devices
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
For those looking to cut the cable and consume TV in a more modern way, there are 3 popular options. Each of these black boxes stream content from an online source or from your local media box, and if the right pieces are in place and you´re willing to make a few compromises, it´s likely you´ll never miss your cable or satellite provider.
The most popular choice is the Apple TV, a great compliment to any of Apple´s other devices, like iPads, iPhones and Macs. Apple announced earlier this week that they´ve sold 5.3 million of these hockey puck boxes in the past 12 months alone.
Roku has more than one option to choose from, including a new flash drive-like stick capable of streaming content all while plugged in the back of the TV and out of the way. According to an analyst for IHS Isuppli, Roku has sold 1.4 million of all their devices in the last year.
Finally, D-Link´s Boxee rounds out the list, selling a lesser 120,000 of their devices last year.
Boxee has also just announced a new device, the Boxee TV, which not only plays live TV, it also offers a feature called No Limits DVR, which offers viewers an unlimited amount of DVR storage in the cloud.
Though they´ve sold the fewest devices of the 3, Boxee is likely to get some huge help in sales this holiday season thanks to one retailer: Walmart.
Customers could buy a Boxee Box online or in a Best Buy store, but starting tomorrow, a Boxee TV could be as close as the local Walmart chain. According to Tech Crunch, the Boxee TV will run at $99 in more than 3,000 US stores and will even get some sales help from a large, in-store advertising campaign.
“It´s going to be a big launch for us,” said Avner Ronen, CEO of Boxee in an interview with Bloomberg.
“There´s a big difference between having your product being carried by retailers, where it sits on the shelf, and getting real marketing behind it.”
The magic of the Boxee TV, says Ronen, is the combination of Live and streaming content. With a built-in antenna to capture over-the-air shows, the Boxee TV presents viewers with a familiar site when it boots up: TV channels.
Both Apple TV and Roku present their users with navigable icons and menus in which to choose what they want to watch.
These 2 companies believe in a future where TV looks very differently. Instead of standard channels, these other devices relegate the content to different apps. Instead of turning to channel 235, users will simply pull up the ESPN app on their device.
Ronen is gambling that people won´t want to watch TV that way and will stick with the old fashioned style of viewing.
“You turn on the TV, and it´s a familiar ground,” said Ronen.
“We don´t believe the future of the TV is going to be a future filled with apps. When you turn on the TV, you don´t want 60 icons. You just want to watch something.”