By Ed Oswald | Wednesday, March 4, 2009 at 9:08 am
Now it makes all the sense in the world while suddenly Boxee is no longer good enough for these two networks. Both NBC Universal and 20th Century Fox Television are equity stakeholders in ZillionTV, yet another set top box offering.
Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, and Disney also own a stake in the company. About 40 other providers have agreed to provide content, with discussions ongoing with Viacom and CBS.
The service is provided through something called a ZBar and is free of charge. It’s not completely free though: users will have to fork over a $100 activation fee and sit through advertisements.
In an attempt to get you to actually watch the commercial, points will be awarded for each one viewed. Its not immediately clear exactly what these points would be redeemable for.
Visa is also a stakeholder in Zillion, and would run the payment processing backend. The service would allow users to purchase content to skip ads, although it would not be stored locally. Content with Zillion would be stored in a “locker,” and streamed to the user when requested.
I feel really bad for the boxee folks. They had a good product going, but apparently partners like NBCU and News Corp. were working behind the scenes to undermine their work. I doubt with ZillionTV on the horizon that boxee ever gets Hulu back now: why would these two companies cut into the business of their own product?