Video services

Boxee Tees Up Live TV Cord-Cutting Tool

Welcome to the cable news roundup, Hump-Day edition.

  • The gloves are off. Boxee is targeting cord-cutters with a Live TV dongle/antenna that lets the company's broadband video box bring in live, over-the-air HD broadcast feeds from ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC. Boxee is selling the dongle for US$49, and it will start shipping it in January in the U.S. and Canada. Boxee's big move comes as cable operators continue to lose video subs that are tightening their belts, and the company thinks its approach will offer consumers a less expensive alternative. "We believe the combination of Netflix/Vudu/Vimeo/TED/etc. with over-the-air channels delivers a much better experience for less money," Boxee chief Avner Ronen wrote in a blog post about the new product. Boxee doesn’t integrate a DVR, but will consider supporting external storage using the device's USB input "if we get enough users" asking for the option.

  • Shaw Communications Inc. of Canada has inked a deal to deploy Motorola Mobility LLC 's HTML5-based DreamGallery user interface initially on Moto's DCX3200HD box, which supports both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 video compression. DreamGallery comes from Motorola's acquisition of Swedish IPTV software firm Dreampark earlier this year. (See Moto Snags Swedish IPTV Software Player.)

  • BendBroadband of Oregon has become the first cable operator to deploy FourthWall Media Inc. 's Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF) platform for Motorola set-top boxes (FourthWall's other deployments have been on the Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) digital cable platform). BendBroadband is integrating FourthWall's EBIF player (used for some interactive TV apps) with the Rovi Corp. iGuide. Rovi, by the way, is putting the integration out to license.

  • Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) has debuted a revamped app optimized for Android tablets such as the Kindle Fire before the slicker interface is ready for the hot-selling iPad.

  • ONO , Spain's largest cable MSO, has launched a broadband-fed TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) product in Madrid and Barcelona, and expects to offer it across its footprint "within the coming months."

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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