Glee? Check. CSI? Check. Grey’s Anatomy? Check. Owners of the Boxee Box, which started to ship late last week, can currently access a treasure trove of free TV content, thanks to the websites of the major broadcasters. ABC, (s DIS) Fox, (s NWS) CBS (s CBS) and NBC (s GE) are preventing Google TV (s GOOG) devices from accessing their online offerings, but none of them has put measures like this in place to block Boxee Box users.
We checked out a number of online TV offerings over the weekend, and it looks like the only site currently blocking the Boxee Box is Hulu.com. That site recognizes the device when accessed with the Boxee Box browser and tells its owners that Hulu is “working hard to bring (the) Hulu Plus subscription service to (the) Boxee Box.”
Boxee Box owners shouldn’t celebrate just yet: Broadcasters tend to have general policies against displaying their online content on connected TVs and Internet set-top boxes, and it’s just a matter of time until block is extended to the relatively new Boxee Box. In fact, even Boxee CEO Avner Ronen recently predicted that the networks will block Boxee. However, he also argued that they shouldn’t, and pleaded to instead monetize online video, regardless of the screen size. Here’s what Ronen told us last month:
“We think that it makes much more sense for the business model to be based on the content and not on the device or the screen size. If someone paid for a video (or is watching the video with ads) it should not matter which device (or) browser he is using.”
Check out my Boxee Box unboxing video below, and come back later this week for a full review of the device.
Related GigaOm Pro Content (subscription required):
- Three Reasons Over-The-Top TV Apps Will Beat Big-Cable
- Apple’s Path to the Living Room
- The Future of TV Can Bet on “Apps Everywhere”