There is no denying that the arrival of the cloud is changing our world in some big and impressive ways, but what many did not realize would happen is that the cloud would be shown to be about more than just computer users. Yes, there are those on mobile devices like smartphones or tablets, but the cloud is bigger than this and cloud storage can be used for some very surprising things. We recently heard how cloud storage is moving into one of of the most popular consumer sites of all time, Facebook and providing social media friendly storage in the cloud, but are you ready for the next step? It might surprise you: television.
The Boxee TV Revolution? Only Time Will Tell for Sure
That’s right, a brand new service is in the works and will be unrolling first in major US cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Houston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Dallas and Atlanta. It’s called Boxee TV (or less officially the Boxee Box DVR) and it leverages the power of cloud storage to perform the same function of digital video recording for TV viewers that popular rival TiVo does. In a recent post on CNet, the service was detailed and an inside look taken. It turns out, Boxee has a lot to offer. CNet says:
Boxee calls the experience ‘No Limits DVR,’ and it allows you to access all your TV recordings via Boxee TV or any device that can load its HTML5-based Web site, which includes most smartphones and tablets. Boxee TV can record over-the-air TV using an antenna, as well as unencrypted basic cable via its built-in QAM tuner.
That is a huge range of functionality that really does raise the bar for DVR and offers a lot for fans of TV to get excited about. Unlimited storage is certainly a big deal since many fans have quite a few shows they like having available to them. While there are certainly other ways to accomplish this goal, not having to purchase additional storage media is certainly a good thing not only in terms of costs, but in terms of household space. Consumers will even have the option to record two shows simultaneously or watch one while another is being recorded. This is the kind of freedom that could definitely meet a lot of people’s expectations.
Are Consumers Ready for Cloud Storage DVR?
The big question is whether the average consumer, who may or may not be a heavy web user, will still see the value in all of these features. Speculation runs the gamut between the product being a ‘next big thing‘ among hardcore TV fans and the tech savvy to issues over its $15 per month subscription price that is higher than competitors like Aereo ($8 per month) and SimpleTV ($5 per month), but equal in cost to TiVo Premium. At $99, the Boxee unit is definitely not out of the reach of too many consumers and since it does come with its own Electronic Programming Guide, it could be a hit. The trick may be explaining the benefits of cloud based DVR to the average person who may not even realize they are already making use of such technologies in their daily lives.
Boxee’s product, called the Boxee Box, is according to its own words, going to totally alter the way people think about recording. Will it succeed? Boxee’s other products have certainly done well in their markets, but those products were for a more hardcore, experienced digitally savvy crowd. According to CNet:
Boxee TV also signifies a major shift away from the company’s geeky software roots. While the Boxee TV is capable of playing back a few common file formats off its back-panel USB ports, it’s decidedly not designed to replicate the “plays everything” experience of previous Boxee software. Similarly, while there’s initial support for few apps (Netflix, Vudu, YouTube, and Vimeo), don’t expect the huge selection of niche apps that existed on the Boxee Box.
This looks like it will take TV to the next level for the average person who might be more open to trying out a TiVo competitor. The advantages certainly seem to be there and the company is certainly bringing a new angle to the TV viewing experience that’s got both practical advantages and a great deal of fun. It could very well succeed in a big way, especially as more cities are included throughout the course of 2013.
More Cloud Services for Consumers Certainly a Good Thing
We definitely think consumers having more cloud services available to them is a good thing that will prove to be a powerful market changer and are looking forward to seeing how the Boxee Box does with consumers at a broader level. It might just be one of those technologies that pushes people towards being more curious about the possibilities cloud storage, and other cloud services, have to offer. It’s a creative way to leverage cloud technology that’s slightly unexpected and definitely unique. We hope to see more innovative uses of cloud computing in the future along these lines. There’s still so much that can be done, especially considering how much hard drive space the average gamer uses up regularly – maybe cloud storage for their needs will come out next.
So what do you think? Would you be in the market for a Boxee Box so you could record all your favorite shows or have you already got a solution for that? Do you know of any other cool tech products using cloud storage interfacing? We’d love to hear from you. Go ahead and leave a comment or ask any questions you’d like to below. We’ll reply just as soon as we can.