What’s that? You say you’re intrigued by the notion of a Web TV box, but $35 for a Google Chromecast is too rich for your blood?
Here you go – if you live in the U.K.: Satellite TV service BSkyB has rolled out a Web TV box for 9.99.
That works out to about $15, and what that gets you is essentially a rebranded Roku HD box – BSkyB invested in Roku last year, and once again this spring – tailored to support BSkyB’s Now TV streaming subscription service. That also means that the box won’t support BSkyB rivals Netflix and Amazon/Lovefilm.
You can see more specs and details here, but the big picture is that this shows yet another approach to distributing Web-to-TV hardware: Rather than have consumers buy the gadgets directly from the manufacturer, a programmer/distributor sells the box and subsidizes the cost.
Expect to see more of this in the future. For starters, note that Roku’s other investors include 21st Century Fox, Dish Network and Hearst, which owns both TV stations and stakes in TV networks including ESPN.
Meanwhile, Apple is in talks with Time Warner Cable about an Apple TV tie-up; for now, that deal doesn’t call for the cable operator to sell Apple’s boxes, but you could certainly imagine a pact where it does.
And remember that Amazon, which tried to buy Roku last year, has its own TV box in the works, which will be optimized for Amazon’s own video offerings.
As we’ve heard for the past month, Apple and Time Warner Cable are close to inking a deal that would bring a TWC app to the Apple TV’s homescreen – for the first time bringing live TV broadcasts to the device. But some recent reports are bringing things into sharper focus, giving us some more insight into what the future of Apple’s service is going to look like. Earlier this week, the New York Times wrote that the app would allow “some of the company’s 12 million subscribers to watch live and on-demand shows without a separate set-top box.” Friday, Bloomberg adds that “while the deal would add a Time Warner app, that just means viewers won’t have to switch from Apple TV back to their cable box: They’d still need to subscribe to Time Warner Cable and wait around for a technician to install it.” The TWC app would likely be based on its existing iPhone and iPad software.
Read the full story at The Verge.
Happy Super Bowl weekend! In case you missed them and are bored waiting for the kickoff, here are the top 10 stories on AllThingsD from the week of 1/28:
1.) Twitter Hacked; 250,000 User Accounts Potentially Compromised
2.) BlackBerry Reinvents Itself to Compete With All-Touch Smartphones
3.) HBO Go Is Coming to Apple TV. Why Isn’t Everything Coming to Apple TV?
4.) PSA: Unlocking Phones Without Carrier Permission Becomes Illegal on Saturday
5.) Time Inc. Braces for Layoffs This Week [Update: They happened -- here's the memo too]
6.) Twitter’s Vine App Doesn’t Have a Porn Problem. It Has a Porn Discovery Problem.
7.) iPhone Users Rack Up the Highest Carrier Bills
8.) Sales Talks Fell Through, So Ad Exchange AdBrite Shuts Down
9.) The Next Step for Computing: The Storage Fabric
10.) Apple Announces iPad Maxi