Wal-Mart woos cable cord cutters with $99 Boxee TV
Boxee said that Wal-Mart will begin selling its new $99 Boxee TV over-the-top video set-top at 3,000 retail stores on Thursday.
Landing a distribution deal with the biggest U.S. retailer is a big score for Boxee, which targets consumers who want to cut the cord on cable and satellite TV, and use its Internet video set-tops to watch TV shows from Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), YouTube and other online video providers. The new Boxee TV can also let viewers navigate local TV channels with the Boxee interface if they have an over-the-air antenna. Users who shell out an additional $14.99 monthly will also be able to access Boxee's cloud-based "No Limits DVR," which the company says will allow viewers to store an unlimited amount of TV shows.
While Boxee appeals primarily to cable cord cutters, the company said it has also talked to smaller cable operators about supplying them with Boxee set-tops that they could market to high-speed Internet subscribers. Boxee could potentially allow some cable operators to focus on selling broadband, and use over-the-top video as a replacement for traditional subscription video packages.
"We've talked with a number of cable providers about that type of scenario. The Boxee Box represents an ideal solution for them to have customers increase their bandwidth, which is a better margin business for them, and exit the pay TV business whose costs and headaches are only increasing," Boxee VP of marketing Andrew Kippen told FierceCable in January.
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