Thursday, July 04, 2013

Samsung acquires Boxee for $30 million, strengthens smart TV offerings

Reports issued on Wednesday said that Samsung has acquired Boxee, the well-known streaming media and entertainment start-up.

Samsung later confirmed the acquisition, but not the reported price, which was said to be a cool -- but relatively low -- $30 million.

In a statement, a spokesperson said:
Samsung has acquired key talent and assets from Boxee. This will help us continue to improve the overall user experience across our connected devices.
Although it was among the first companies to offer a streaming media product which enables users to watch movies and TV shows from the Internet directly on a TV, Boxee has struggled as the market has grown saturated with other companies, such as Roku and Samsung's rival in many market segments, Apple (with Apple TV).

Even Samsung has entered the fray, and recently it was said to have been shopping itself around, first attempting to garner a new round of funding and then courting buyers.

The acquisition makes sense for Samsung. Its smart TV offerings have been criticized for being too difficult to use. Integrating Boxee's talent and knowledge can only help.

Boxee began as a cross-platform freeware HTPC (Home Theater PC) software application. The company later branched into hardware, while at the same time discontinuing all desktop versions and support in 2012.

Its latest hardware device was launched in late 2012, the Boxee Cloud DVR. The company rebranded the box from Boxee TV to emphasize its ability to record content from the cloud along with streaming over-the-air broadcast HD channels.

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