Boxee announced today a new $99 streaming media player called Boxee TV that lets you record an unlimited shows to a virtual DVR for $15 per month.On paper, the Boxee TV, which replaces the old Boxee Box, seems impressive.
In addition to streaming content from Boxee’s suite of apps like Netflix, HBO GO, Pandora, Vudu, etc., the Boxee TV lets you watch live TV over the air if you have an HD antenna. That means you can pipe in free network TV from channels like NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox to the device.
Unlike traditional DVRs, there’s no hard drive in Boxee TV. Instead, all your shows are uploaded to the cloud so you can stream them over the web back to the device when you’re ready to watch them. You can also watch a show on one channel while recording a show from another.
Now for the drawbacks.
The Boxee only seems like a great deal for a very select group of people, specifically the so-called “cord cutters” who no longer pay for cable and prefer to get their content from streaming services instead. The new Boxee TV is perfect for those people. You finally have a way to record your shows. And the $15 per month fee is about the same as what people pay to use DVRs from cable companies like Time Warner.
But Boxee will only offer its cloud DVR service in 8 cities at first.
And you can only record shows from network TV stations like the ones listed above at first. (Boxee willl add basic cable recording very soon.)
And you can only pipe in basic cable channels, not premium channels like HBO, meaning there’s little incentive for current cable subscribers to switch.
Drawbacks aside, the Boxee TV looks promising, at least for the select group of cord cutters. It goes on sale in November.