Content

Boxee to Shutter Cloud DVR Service on July 10

Existing Recordings to Be Wiped 7/04/2013 7:25 AM Eastern

A cloud DVR product developed by Boxee appears to be the first casualty to come from Samsung’s purchase of the startup that specialized in over-the-top video streaming devices and advanced user interfaces.

“For Boxee users, we’re working behind the scenes to ensure there’s minimal impact to your devices. However, the beta Cloud DVR functionality we provided to certain Boxee TV users will be discontinued on July 10th," the company said in a statement posted to its Web site. “You will not have access to your existing recordings after that date. We realize many of you loved the service, and we’re sorry it won’t be available moving forward”

The statement offers further indication that Boxee’s user interface is what Samsung covets most in the deal, and not the services and hardware developed by Boxee. The original Boxee Box and the newer $99 Boxee Cloud DVR device are manufactured by D-Link.

Samsung said the deal will enable it to improve the user experience offered on smart TVs and other connected devices.  Boxee has not revealed any shipment figures lately, including how many customers had signed up for its cloud DVR product, but last April the company tweeted that there were 200,000 users of the original Boxee Box, versus 2 million total users, a figure that included consumers who were using the Boxee UI for PCs, a product that the company discontinued in 2012.

Samsung confirmed the acquisition of Boxee on Wednesday. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Boxee reportedly fetched “tens of millions of dollars,” but less than $30 million. 

Boxee offers its cloud DVR service in nine markets: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Houston, Washington, D.C., and the San Francisco Bay Area.  The free version provides five hours of DVR playback a month, keeps recordings for up to 90 days, and allowed playback on TVs, smartphones and tablets and PCs. The premium, $9.99 per month version offers unlimited and perpetual DVR storage, and also lets users access recordings on TVs, PCs, tablets and smartphones.  Before the Samsung acquisition, Boxee touted that “recordings never expire” with its premium cloud DVR product.

“Joining Samsung means we will be able to work on products that marry the best hardware and software in the TV space, products that will be used by tens of millions of people and will help to shape the future of TV,” Boxee said in its statement.

September