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Boxee TV Has HDTV Antenna and DVR. Time To Cut The Cord? – Tech Thursday

There’s a new set top box in town! Boxee TV, which is to be released in the near future and is supposed to give you more flexibility in watching not only your own content on your HDTV, but now the ability to plug in an antenna to watch over the air broadcasts, and DVR as well. But there is a catch. Isn’t there always?

WDTV Live Hub
Photo Rich Lawrence/TSM

The Verge broke the story earlier this week. While the new device is similar to offerings from the likes of Western Digital, Boxee aims to take a swipe at cable companies. But it’s not all green grass and roses, but it’s still cool. For one, with the antenna, you still need to be in an area that can get reception of some kind. When I lived in Gloversville, I needed an outdoor antenna to get most of the signals here in the immediate area. The exceptions were WNYT Channel 13 and Channel 55. Channel 13 had a repeater in Gloversville, and channel 55′s tower is just outside Amsterdam. So if you live in outlying communities, you’re going to want to look at an outdoor antenna if you want to use Boxee to cut the cord. Those here in the immediate area, you shouldn’t have issues unless you live in a canyon or right up next to a hill between you and the signal.

There is also talk of apps on the device. So more options for online streaming or content is possible with just a firmware update. The other thing, is the DVR. It looks like the device won’t have local storage. No internal hard drive or anything like that. It’ll be all cloud based and it’ll cost you around $15 a month for the service. That to me seems kinda underhanded. I mean, what if I find a better device that does the same? How do I download all that content I recorded and move it? Even better question, can I move it? Last I knew, DVRs still fall under the Betamax ruling, which gives you and I the right to record from over the air and cable tv.

The over the air capability can also side step that recent FCC ruling letting cable companies encrypt their basic cable, essentially making you pay for a box to decrypt those signals. Not at first of course, but this is big cable. So when this device does come out and you are looking to cut the cord, take a look at Boxee TV and see if it fits your needs. I’m guessing It’ll be on my list of Geek Gifts for this holiday season if it’s out by then.

$>/usr/bin/tv | grep more

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