Tag Archives | set-top boxes

Yep, Roku 2 is a Game Console, Too

Roku’s new streaming set-top boxes are smaller and sleeker than ever, but the bigger news is that the Roku 2 is the start of a serious push into home console gaming.

The high-end Roku 2 XS, which will launch later this month for $100, will include a Wii-like motion controller with a directional pad and two buttons (like an old-school Nintendo), plus a free copy of Angry Birds. The lower-tier Roku 2 HD ($60) and Roku 2 XD ($80) will also support the game controller, sold separately as a $30 bundle with Angry Birds and a 2 GB MicroSD card.

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Boxee Box Coming November 10

The Boxee Box finally has a ship date: November 10, with availability in stores a week later.


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ZillionTV Shows NBC, Fox's Hand

zilliontv_logo_cropped_200-thumbNow 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?


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