Light Reading

Boxee May Be Adding DVR Features

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.

  • The Verge has obtained photos of a broadband-connected video device under development at Boxee that blends over-the-air TV broadcasts, a DVR and Web apps. Boxee, which isn't commenting on the new device, already sells a US$49 dongle for its original box that can access live, over-the-air HD broadcast TV feeds. Boxee is targeting consumers that want a lower-cost way to get pay TV, but the company has also been working with Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) on ways to deliver encrypted basic cable TV lineups to the device without the need for a CableCARD. The reported addition of a DVR runs counter to Boxee CEO Avner Ronen's relatively recent proclamation that the product category is "dead." Perhaps there's still some life left in those old bones yet. (See Comcast & Boxee Connect on Video Security , Boxee, Cable Spar Over Video Encryption , Boxee Tees Up Live TV Cord-Cutting Tool and Boxee's Ronen: The DVR Is Dying.)

  • Staying with pay-TV theme, Market Strategies International's study of 926 consumers, ages 18-plus, suggests that consumers are cutting down on premium channels, VoD spending, and other pay-TV add-ons. The researcher found that consumers surveyed reported a $42 monthly savings on their cable bill from cutbacks.

  • Advanced advertising software specialist This Technology LLC has opened up a Denver office and hired a trio of cable vets: VP of Engineering John Mick; VP of Sales Sean Rooney; and VP of Software Architecture Bryan Santangelo. This Technology will retain its New York City office, but is opening a facility in Denver to contribute to the "important DAI [dynamic ad insertion] innovation taking place in the region." The Denver metro area also happens to be the new home of Canoe Ventures LLC , the cable operator joint venture that recently killed off its interactive ad business in favor of a VoD ad-insertion strategy. (See Cable's Canoe Sinks Interactive Ad Business .)

  • Wipro Ltd. (NYSE: WIT) has launched Wipro Accelerate, a pre-paid broadband platform tailored for the U.S. cable market. Targeted to cost-conscious consumers and bad credit risks, Wipro's managed service handles billing, cash management, customer care and technical/operational support on behalf of the cable operator. (See Pre-Paid Broadband Doesn't Have to Eat Margins and Pre-Paid Opens New Frontier for US Broadband.)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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