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Boxee may go to subsidized deals to compete with Apple TV

updated 06:15 pm EST, Fri January 14, 2011

Boxee CEO says content deals needed to drop prices

Boxee may turn to subsidies to help get the price down and better compete in the market, company founder Avner Ronen said in an episode of the This Week in Startups show recorded on Friday. He mentioned that the $200 street price for a Boxee Box was "way too expensive" to get mass market adoption and floated the idea as one option for future models. Nothing was definite in the talk and might not necessarily come about with a future deal.

Ronen also provided some brief hints at the possible future of Boxee. Gaming was a possibility as he noted that games had often driven technology adoption, but it would most likely occur through the browser in HTML rather than through proprietary apps. A TV tuner had been ruled out in at least the short term as it was a matter of "focus and resources."

DVR had some slight promise. Boxee team members "haven't decided" on whether or not to let the hub record TV, but Ronen acknowledged that many on the official forums had called for it. Development resources were again the primary focus. "We're a small team," he said.

Boxee hasn't given out sales numbers but has taken a mixed approach to competing with Apple. The hopes to subsidize the Boxee are a first sign of intent to more directly challenge the Apple TV and Roku's Internet Player, both of which hit or dive below the $100 price mark through their use of cheaper but roughly as efficient processors. Ronen reiterated, though, that he saw Boxee as filling in gaps that Apple didn't cover, giving users content outside the iTunes ecosystem.

"We're fine with owning that niche for ourselves," he explained.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. OtisWild

    Junior Member

    Joined: Feb 2005

    -5

    DLNA/UPnP

    Boxee wins because it does media streaming from local computers or NAS, and Roku doesn't. AppleTV streams from iTunes, but managing torrent downloads within iTunes is a pain.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -8

    and...

    The hopes to subsidize the Boxee are a first sign of intent to more directly challenge the Apple TV and Roku's Internet Player, both of which hit or dive below the $100 price mark through their use of cheaper but roughly as efficient processors

    And it certainly helps apple that they subsidize their products through the iTMS sales. And that Apple doesn't report how much money they make or lose on AppleTVs.

  1. graxspoo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2008

    +5

    Too many bugs

    Boxee is cool. I want to use it all the time, but they have too many bugs. They shouldn't have shipped in the state they were in, as they are scrambling to fix the Boxee Box bugs, and have left users on Mac Windows and Linux twisting in the wind. At this point, they do a great many things, but none of them very well. For example, I thought it was great when they released the Vudu app for the Mac... but now I find out that you can't get surround output from videos rented through Vudu (the center channel is missing). I filed a bug report, and they closed it saying Dolby Digital Plus audio is not supported on the Mac. Great. Then why release an app that only provides Dolby Digital Plus to Mac users? And that's just one example. I've run into many many bugs with Boxee, and I'm sure that Boxee Box users have as well. It's one thing when you're giving away free software, and it's tagged with 'alpha' or 'beta.' It's another when people start paying real money. Boxee Box purchasers are guinea pigs. So, IMO, it doesn't much matter what business model they adopt. Until they get their bug list under control they are not ready for prime time, period, the end.

  1. facebook_Cherify

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2011

    +1

    ALERT

    I found this interesting comparison between Roku, Apple TV and Boxee Box that is based on analysis of hundreds of their customer reviews. You and your readers may be interested to see this analysis as well at http://tinyurl.com/amp4dmr . You can also check reputation of other products if you go to http://www.amplifiedanalytics.com/V2P-Product-Reviews/Demo, enter the product name or number (like "Samsung LN55C650"), select offered choice, and click on "Submit" button. The system will aggregate and analyze customer reviews to calculate the reputation metrics for you and will let you read the reviews if you want to.

  1. facebook_Avner

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2011

    +1

    Not plan to subsidize Boxee devices

    I wanted to clarify Boxee's position re device subsidies. We have no concrete plan to subsidize Boxee-based devices.

    In the interview I was asked an hypothetical question about a model in which users are paying a subscription fee, which helps reduce the purchase price. I answered that I believe it is a valid model, but probably not one that we will do on our own and probably fits better with an ISP or service provider that can support such a model.

    We would have loved for the Boxee Box to be under $100 it will obviously increase the appeal to a larger audience.

    Regards,
    Avner

  1. facebook_Avner

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jan 2011

    -1

    Not plan to subsidize Boxee devices

    I wanted to clarify Boxee's position re device subsidies. We have no concrete plan to subsidize Boxee-based devices.

    In the interview I was asked an hypothetical question about a model in which users are paying a subscription fee, which helps reduce the purchase price. I answered that I believe it is a valid model, but probably not one that we will do on our own and probably fits better with an ISP or service provider that can support such a model.

    We would have loved for the Boxee Box to be under $100 it will obviously increase the appeal to a larger audience.

    Regards,
    Avner

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