Sunday, March 30, 2014

Boxee TV Offers A Decent Alternate To Cable

By Cornelius Nunev

Cable, in a lot of ways, is a royal pain in a particular part of the body. Hence the increase of streaming boxes, which allow individuals to stream programming via Wi-Fi. One such upcoming product is Boxee Television, a streaming set-top container that also does DVR services and can pick up basic channels via an HD antenna.

Challenging cable

There are a lot of boxes you can choose from that connect with Netflix, Hulu and more and have some kind of DVR function for recording. You just have to hook the box up to Wi-Fi, and you also start challenging cable and satellite corporations.

There's a brand new one coming out called Boxee Television, according to Time magazine, which takes a slightly different approach. Boxee TV has been around before. The business launched a streaming Television box a couple years ago that failed miserably. However, the new one works a bit different, in that it utilizes cloud storage for DVR recordings.

The new Boxee Television also isn't terribly costly, beginning at $99 for the box. Adding DVR services is $14.99 per month, which is more than some competing models but much less than it would cost with satellite or cable.

Basic cable all you need

The Boxee TV receiver has a cable port, so consumers can use it as a DVR box and thus an accessory. It also has its own antenna, so publicly broadcast stations like NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and PBS can be picked up. It also comes with native apps for Netflix, Vimeo, VUDU, YouTube and Pandora.

The way it differs from comparable boxes such as Roku or Netgear, which are cheaper by half, is that Boxee TV doesn't have any on-board memory, nor does it require an external hard drive for storage, such as the recently-released Simple.TV, according to CNET. Storage is done via uploading content to a cloud "locker," which users can access at any time. It is a dual-code DVR recorder and can record two programs simultaneously. Consumers can't stop live programs, like on TiVo, however.

That said, unlike DVR systems that are affected by the memory, cloud storage is unlimited. However, getting the DVR service does cost the $14.99 monthly fee, though that's hardly enough to send an individual out for short term loans to cover.

Not every person has access

Unfortunately, the hitch is that the DVR services for the Boxee TV, according to TG Daily, are limited to just a couple cities to start with. Only residents of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., will be able to get the DVR services. The business plans on expanding the network over the next year, though.

Everyone else can only use it as a streaming device, until DVR services are available everywhere. At that it fails, since other set-top boxes for those who want to cut the cord are much cheaper and have more or the same streaming native apps.

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