The Third Degree

Q&A with Avner Ronen About Boxee’s New Live TV Feature and Why, For the First Time, It’s a Real ‘Alternative to Cable’

Can you hear that? The sound of a thousand cords cut.

About a week ago, a GigaOm writer Janko Roettgers stumbled across something big: an integration that would allow anyone who owns a Boxee Box to watch live broadcast TV over the device without having to switch back-and-forth between inputs.

Now, Boxee is finally prepared to speak about the feature. In January, the company will start selling a USB dongle that transforms the antenna on the Boxee Box into a tuner to capture free over-the-air HD TV signals from channels like ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. The dongle is a one-time cost of $49 and the company is currently taking pre-orders.

So that’s a little more expensive than your typical digital converter box, which also lets you get free live broadcast TV. But you get some special social juice with Boxee, plus everything in one unit with one remote control.

Betabeat spoke to Boxee founder and CEO Avner Ronen yesterday about why he thinks this could be a tipping point in getting consumers to cut–or at least shave–the cord. Read More


Time Warner Cable Subsidizes Slingbox. TV Programmers Beware.


To both cable TV distributors and cable TV programmers, the possibility that consumers will finally cut that cord probably sounds like a slashing sound somewhere near their their bottom line.  But at least one big distributor is choosing to adapt.

The New York Times reports that Time Warner Cable, one of the top cable and internet providers in the country, announced yesterday that it would soon be subsidizing the cost of Slingbox, a set-top device that untethers viewers from their home television screen and lets them watch programming from anywhere, including computers, mobile phones, or second homes.

Based on Time Warner’s recent legal battles with Viacom, which owns channels such as MTV and Nickelodeon, Viacom isn’t going to be very happy about getting shot in the foot. Read More

Screen Gems

Get Baller with Boxee’s New iPad App

It's about time

If you’re a big time VC or founder with a sweet exit, you probably get your floss on with an iPad in every room of the house. To get the full MTV Cribs Tech Edition, it’s crucial to have a fantastic stream of videos running at all time or ready to go with a single swipe.

We’ve had the Boxee in our living room for a while and love the ability to stream Netflix (all six seasons of the Larry Sanders show) and easily pull up videos we bookmarked from the web. Now we can double down on our home entertainment with Boxee’s new iPad appRead More

Web TV

As Hulu and Netflix Surge, So Do Set Top Players Like Boxee

More of us everyday

Yesterday Betabeat ran down some of the growth stats being shared by Hulu CEO Jason Kilar. This morning we woke up to find Netflix has snagged exclusive rights to stream seven seasons of Mad Men at a reported $1 million dollars per episode.

The boom in these streaming video services is paying off for the hardware players who make the set top boxes that bring Hulu and Netflix to people’s TVs. Read More


All-Star Zach Klein Leaving Boxee for Ego

Zach Klein

Zach Klein was a founder at Vimeo, Svpply and is a co-owner of College Humor and Busted Tees—which made him a star at IAC’s Connected Ventures.

In September 2009, he signed on as head of product at Boxee, the set-top box bringing Internet to the televisions of impassioned early adopters.

At the Read More


Boxee Hits Snags After A Strong Showing at CES

VUDU and Netflix will come to Boxee

Boxee announced some crucial partnershipsand demo’ed its sweet iPad app last week at the Consumer Electronics Show.

But the New York-based company has run into some snags with its latest firmware update.

The update was supposed to fix bugs and add content from VUDU, the on-demand movie service.

Boxee released the update out last night Read More