Revamped Boxee TV packs cloud-based DVR action

Posted by Shane McGlaun

It's been nearly two years to the day since we first discussed the Boxee set-top box that launched way back in 2010 after a lot of hype and fanfare.

As you may recall, the device didn't exactly catch on in the hyper-competitve market. Nevertheless, Boxee is back with a new device packing a wealth of new features. Dubbed Boxee TV,  the set-top box is slated to launch on November 1 for a sweet $99.

The Boxee TV is focused more on live TV streaming and recording than its predecessor. Indeed, the Boxee TV offers dual tuners capable of viewing unencrypted basic cable channels and over the air HD broadcasts. The box also allows users to record programs over the air or from basic cable to a cloud-based DVR.

Interestingly, the device lacks internal storage, instead relying on an online DVR service with unlimited space for just $15 per month. Personally, the only time I would think a cloud-based DVR would pose an issue is  when your Internet connection is too slow for decent streaming or out altogether.

Otherwise, it's nice to know you can record any and every program you want - and not have to worry about deleting shows or movies to make space for new content. In addition to playing recorded programs back on your TV or computer, there are apps that allow users to stream Boxee content on a tablet or smartphone.

Unfortunately, the cloud-based DVR service will be limited to specific areas at launch, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. However, Boxee does plan on rolling out additional service to more locations in 2013.

The Boxee TV also supports the usual line up of streaming apps including Netflix, Pandora, Vimeo, YouTube, and VUDU. The device is available for pre-order right now, although I'm honestly not sure how popular the Boxee will be for anyone who doesn't live in one of the handful of cities where the cloud-based DVR service is already available.