Walmart to carry new Boxee TV

Michelle Clancy | 01-11-2012

Walmart has agreed to carry the $99 Boxee TV throughout 3,000 stores in the U.S. when it launches on 1 November—potentially changing the game for the heretofore niche product.

Boxee TV is the next generation of the Boxee Box set-top box (STB), featuring a shifted focus to carrying live TV instead of a rich universe of streaming options, along with a cloud-based DVR service called "No-Limites DVR." It's also only available in the States.

Netflix, VUDU, Vimeo, YouTube and other favourites will still be available through the over-the-top (OTT) box, but thanks to dual tuners, Boxee TV can carry local TV broadcast signals over-the-air, along with the basic tier of cable with Clear QAM technology. It can also integrate existing cable subscriptions. And, unlike many of its competitors, it has a network DVR with hosted cloud storage, which goes for $14.95 per month.

The new device is running a new chipset from Broadcom and Boxee's proprietary software.
Boxee TV will replace the Boxee Box, released in 2010. That product was sold through Best Buy and online retailers. Boxee saidt hat it will release a separate update to the Boxee Box to update the Flash player and fix some key bugs, after which the Boxee Box will "go into maintenance mode," the company said, discontinuing distribution with no additional major updates.

"Over the past couple of years we have released several major updates, numerous minor updates and added hundreds of apps," said CEO Avner Ronen, in a blog. He added, "our small team has poured our hearts and souls into the Boxee Box and it has been great to meet users from all over the globe. Some loved it, some wanted more features, others complained, but everyone was passionate."