Well, I can’t say this was unexpected. According to a report by Israel-based finance website The Marker, Samsung is in the process of acquiring company Boxee for $30 million. Perhaps best known for the PC media server software of the same name, Boxee partnered with D-Link in 2009 to produce the Boxee Box, a set-top box with a focus on streaming video. More recently, the company dabbled in TiVo-like live television augmentation with the Boxee TV (now Cloud DVR), which offered unlimited recording of over-the-air shows for a monthly fee.
Both companies have a lot to gain from the sale. Samsung has long shown interest in improving and expanding its living room offerings. Though the company’s remained one of the world’s largest television manufacturers for years, falling prices and a contracting market have forced the company to incorporate differentiating features into its range of TV and media products. Samsung refreshed its internet-connected television lineup in 2010, placing a greater emphasis on apps, voice and motion control, and streaming content. More recently, the company’s adopted a different tact, selling set-top boxes in an apparent bid to infiltrate living rooms without Smart TVs: the Samsung HomeSync media streamer launched early this year, boasting advanced streaming features and a massive amount (1TB) of local storage.
Boxee, for its part, could use the financial backing of a hardware giant like Samsung. The company was never really able to find its footing after exiting the desktop software market, mostly languishing after its partnership with D-Link resulted in the release of less-than-exceptional products. Boxee’s been searching for a buyer for several months, so a purchase by Samsung would be an answered prayer.
What’s to come of Samsung’s acquisition of Boxee? Most likely, Samsung intends to incorporate some of Boxee’s UI and features into future TV or set-top box product lines. It’s difficult to say whether Samsung would everbe interested in producing a device with live TV integration like Boxee’s Cloud DVR, but such a feature definitely has the potential to boost sales of the company’s Smart TVs.
What do you think of Samsung’s reported purchase? Would you like to see a Samsung DVR in the near future? Let us know!
UPDATE: Samsung confirmed to the New York Times that it has purchased Boxee.