The battle for control of the living room became even more competitive today, with South Korean electronics giant Samsung buying out set-top box startup Boxee for an undisclosed fee.
Boxee – which produces set-top boxes that add smart TV and DVR capabilities to conventional televisions – offered a Cloud DVR service that allowed users to watch shows recorded on their set-top box on their laptops as well as Android and iOS devices. However, with Samsung's acquisition of the New York-based startup, users will see their Cloud DVR subscriptions end on 10 July and access to all recordings will no longer be available.
A Samsung statement said that the company had "acquired key talent and assets from Boxee. This will help us continue to improve the overall user experience across our connected devices." Several websites have rumoured that the deal was worth $30m, but this has not been confirmed by Samsung or Boxee.
Samsung is currently the world's largest TV maker and has been making inroads into the smart TV market with its own bespoke software, which includes access to catch-up services in the UK such as BBC iPlayer and 4oD.
Boxee, meanwhile, had raised $26.5m in venture capitalist funding and its set-top box products were sold in stores such as Walmart in the US.
A statement on Boxee's website said the team was excited for its next chapter of operations. "Joining Samsung means we will be able to work on products that marry the best hardware and software in the TV space, products that will be used by tens of millions of people and will help to shape the future of TV," it said.
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