For a Friday after a national holiday, the web has certainly been abuzz about Samsung ponying up an undetermined amount of cash to purchase the New York-based start-up Boxee. The company, currently in its sixth year of operation, designed and marketed set-top boxes intended to allow you to record live television broadcasts which can, in theory, be played back either on your television or any number of mobile and computing devices.
In April of this year, Boxee TV underwent a re-branding, changing the name of the set-top box to Cloud DVR. Each of your unlimited number of recordings would be stored on Boxee’s cloud servers rather than the more traditional self-contained hard drive common to most DVRs on the market.
Whether you are a fan of Boxee’s Cloud DVR or not, (and it would seem those are the only two camps in this debate), it was this unlimited storage aspect that appeared was on the cusp of revolutionizing television entertainment delivery. Boxee’s decision to implement Cloud DVR on a market-by-market basis was not well received by the public, at large. However, Boxee vice president of marketing Andrew Kippen defended and explained this tactic:
I know it’s a bit confusing, but there’s a good reason we do market by market rollout. Every market has different broadcast stations with different content, different encoding, and different metadata. We roll out market by market because it helps ensure that we’re scaling properly and gives us time to properly test the signals in each market.
But then today, with news of the acquisition of Boxee by Samsung, a rather blandly written statement was posted on Boxee’s website lauding their joining the Samsung team, the opportunities it will afford for Boxee in the soon-to-be rapidly changing TV and video landscape and the Boxee team’s general level of excitement with regard to their future.
And then the other shoe dropped. It appears Boxee, with very little notice to early adopters of their Cloud DVR, is discontinuing the Cloud DVR functionality of their set-top boxes effective July 10. If you live in a market this functionality was available in and you chose to purchase their device, you have 5 days to engage in a viewing marathon. Not only will you no longer be able to record after next Wednesday, you will lose access to all of your recorded programming on Boxee’s cloud servers.