Walmart to Push Boxee TVs Challenging Apple and Roku

  • In the last 12 months, Apple has sold 5.3 million Apple TV devices while Roku sold 1.4 million set-top boxes. Boxee has lagged behind both its competitors, selling only 120,000 of its devices last year. However, a new deal with Walmart could dramatically boost Boxee’s sales.
  • “Starting tomorrow, the world’s biggest retailer will exclusively sell the new $98 product, called Boxee TV, in more than 3,000 U.S. locations during the holiday season,” Bloomberg reports. “Walmart will set up displays and send out marketing materials for the device, a small black box with a remote control that can access free TV broadcast channels as well as Internet content.”
  • Boxee CEO Avner Ronen says the retail partnership is a “big launch” for the company and its products. “There’s a big difference between having your product being carried by retailers, where it sits on the shelf, and getting real marketing behind it,” he says.
  • Boxee provides access to Internet content like Pandora and Netflix while also capturing over-the-air TV signals.
  • “You turn on the TV, and it’s a familiar ground,” Ronen says. “We don’t believe the future of the TV is going to be a future filled with apps. When you turn on the TV, you don’t want 60 icons. You just want to watch something.”
  • “Included in Boxee TV is a service called No Limits DVR,” Bloomberg explains, “which lets customers record unlimited broadcast TV shows to the cloud and access them from the set-top box or from a computer, smartphone or tablet. It will be available in about eight of the largest U.S. cities to start, Ronen said.”

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