Boxee has announced it will introduce a Live TV dongle in January that will connect to the Boxee Box and let users watch channels like ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC for no extra fee. The Live TV stick is available for pre-order now for $49.
“If you are like us then the way you watch TV has changed. The stuff on Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Vudu, Vimeo keeps getting better and you can watch it everywhere,” Boxee CEO Avner Ronen said in a blog post. “You end up watching less traditional TV, but continually pay more for it, which doesn’t make much sense.”
People have avoided completely cutting the cable TV cord, Ronen said, because Internet-based content does not usually include sports, local news, special events, and live TV shows like Dancing with the Stars.
“But these things are all available on broadcast TV channels like ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC for free, over the air in HD,” Ronen wrote. “With Boxee Live TV you can watch them all on your Boxee Box (and still get all the regular Boxee stuff you love to watch too).”
Boxee Live TV will initially be available in the US and Canada. It will not be available on computers and will not support other TV tuners. There is no DVR component because the focus is on live content, though Ronen said a user could conceivably add a drive for recordings to the extra USB input on the back of the Boxee Box.
Boxee said it differs from Google TV in that “Google TV’s set top box requires you to connect it to a cable/satellite set-top box. It does not have a TV tuner built in.”