Boxee removes cloud DVR after Samsung acquisition

Boxee, the Israel-based media streaming provider, has been bought out by Samsung Electronics – and has immediately announced the removal of its cloud-based digital video recorder (DVR) software.

The bad news for Boxee customers is that the switch off for the cloud DVR comes on July 10, with all recordings being wiped after that date. Expect many Boxee viewers to be bleary-eyed for work in the coming days having ploughed through the recordings they still have.

“We believe that over the next few years the video market will change even more than it has in the past few decades,” a statement on the Boxee site reads.

“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,” it adds.

According to Boxee, their cloud DVR technology was the first of its kind – but it certainly wasn’t the last. Companies from Aereo to Alcatel Lucent also provide such a service – but there are particular differences to the service Boxee provided.

It may not come as much of a surprise to see Boxee being snapped up by a colossal enterprise; Aereo itself is owned by media conglomerate IAC. The business plans of the two companies also differ. Aereo offered 20 hours of content for $8 a month, and 60 hours for $12, whilst Boxee offers five hours for free, then an unlimited amount for $10 a month.

From July 10, of course, that will read ‘offered’. The big lesson to be learned from this, therefore, is that you can’t trust that startup cloud storage providers will be there to keep your content safe for the long haul.

Yet as Business Insider notes, unlimited cloud DVR storage is only going to be a loss leader – hence it’s understandable why Samsung has killed it.

As CloudTech reported late last year, Amazon Cloud Player has arrived on Samsung Smart TVs – it will be interesting to see how that plays out. The cloud DVR for Boxee is dead for now, but the technology as a whole can only continue to penetrate the TV market, utilising OTT technology to completely change how TV is viewed today.

What do you make of this acquisition? Let us know in the comments...

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