Boxee touts Cloudee forecast

Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 05-06-2012

Looking to make it easier to share personal videos, over the top (OTT) set-top box maker Boxee has launched Cloudee, a cloud-based service that lets users share personal videos with family and close friends.
The launch is a soft intro, starting with an invite-only beta iPhone app. During the beta period the service is free, but a paid version will follow with unlimited video storage and access from a Boxee Box and any browser. During the beta launch Cloudee requires a Facebook account as well.
"We believe the cloud is going to play a major role in the future of TV," said Avner Ronen, Boxee Ceo. "For a while now, it’s been painful to get our personal videos to the TV screen – our Road Trips, Boxee Meetups, family videos with our kids, concerts and the occasional weirdness on NYC streets. Some of these videos were on our phones, others on our laptop or network storage, and the ones we really wanted to see were always taken by our friends."
Rather than having to copy videos onto a thumb drive for upload to YouTube, which requires a cloud storage account and the setting up of permissions, Cloudee lets users upload videos, organise them into collections and share them easily via social networking.
"If you’re like us, as you go through your videos to share them you’ll experience a serendipitous feeling of re-discovery – bringing forgotten memories back to life," said Ronen. "We found concerts long passed, videos of our kids that they had filmed without us knowing, videos of loved ones no longer with us. It became a very powerful connection to our past, and to each other. We think it can do the same thing for millions of other people."
Ronen said that the launch was only a first step in the company's cloud strategy as video watching continues to shift towards on demand and secondary screens. "Cloudee will become an integral part of the Boxee offering," he noted. This has set at least one analyst thinking.
Colin Dixon, senior partner at the Diffusion Group (TDG), speculates that with the addition of Cloudee, Boxee now has the technology in place to implement a cloud-based DVR solution.
"Staying out of Hollywood's crosshairs will be difficult, as Aereo is currently finding out," he said. "But, like Aereo, Boxee has a potential solution that will withstand the test of the courts. If Boxee limits DVR capabilities to only customers with a Boxee box equipped with a TV tuner, the company can tell which channels a customer has the right to watch. Allowing customers to record shows from just those channels and duplicating existing DVR features exactly leveraging Cloudee as the storage and delivery vehicle should keep them within the confines of decided fair use laws and the Cablevision network DVR decision. "