Cable box at Walmart

The War for Your Living Room Just Got Real
May 2, 2016 – 09:48 am
Google Chromecast - Walmart

Everybody wants to hang out in your living room. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon — they all want to be there. Some already are. All of them are already on your other screens — the tiny one in your pocket, the medium-sized one in your bag, the big one on your desktop. But the biggest prize, the huge screen in your living room, is still very much up for grabs.

Still, it ain’t a full-scale war just yet. Google TV has utterly failed to catch on. Microsoft’s newly revamped Xbox Video is, well, newly revamped. Amazon Instant Video is still geared more towards tablets and apps than televisions and entertainment centers. And for now, at least, Apple TV remains a hobby, if a “beloved” one. But an announcement from Boxee — until now a minor player, at best, in this market — is a signal that the living room wars are on.

Walmart is going to carry Boxee TV this holiday season. And not just carry it. Walmart is going to push it, heavily, with in-store promotions and marketing mailers, according to Bloomberg. This means the retail giant has decided that internet television, and, more broadly, cord-cutting, is a thing it needs to pay attention to.

Boxee TV is a combination cable box, cloud-based dual-tuner DVR with unlimited storage (that for now is limited to a handful of cities), and internet video delivery service. It even comes with an antenna so people can watch HD shows over the air. You don’t have to choose between getting shows from the internet or through traditional means. Boxee TV lets you do both.

In essence, it’s a transitional device. Much like Google TV, it allows you to get traditional signal and apps all in one place. That makes it easy to transition back and forth from Internet to broadcast TV. But even more intriguing, from a transition standpoint, is the included antenna. If you decide to fully cut the cable, you can still easily get a live high-definition television signal from the major networks and even record it to the DVR.

It’s an interesting device, to be sure. But the bigger deal is distribution. Walmart gives Boxee instant legitimacy. This is the biggest retailer in the world, which means Boxee is going to be everywhere — it hits some 3, 000 stores in November.

Source: www.wired.com
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