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Summary:

There are only around 200,000 people out there using a Boxee Box, according to numbers released by the company this week. That’s low, but it’s also part of a bigger trend: Consumers still have to warm up to the idea of buying connected devices.

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The total number of Boxee Box users is around 200,000, according to a tweet sent out by the company Wednesday. The tweet also revealed that Boxee now has a total of 2 million users, if you include users of the discontinued PC client.

Usage numbers of CE devices don’t necessarily translate to sales numbers – in theory, consumers could have bought a device without ever connecting it – but it’s safe to assume that the number of boxes sold isn’t that much higher.

The revelation comes just a few days after D-Link, which manufactures and sells the Boxee Box, introduced another device that addresses some of the same needs at a much cheaper price point. The new MovieNite streamer, which sells exclusively at Walmart for less than $50, offers access to Vudu, YouTube and Netflix. A D-Link spokesperson told me that the two devices don’t compete with each other, with Boxee offering more advanced features like local file playback and access to broadcast TV.

Boxee’s sales numbers are certainly low, but still in line with an industry-wide trend: Smart TV set-top boxes haven’t reached a wider audience, and sales have often been below expectations.

We revealed earlier this year that less than there are less than one million Google TV devices being used in people’s households. Roku recently fell short of its own goal to sell three million boxes, instead selling 2.5 million devices in three years, despite a recent massive marketing campaign. The only company able to move higher numbers has been Apple. The company revealed in January that it has sold 4.2 million Apple TVs.

(Thanks Dave Zatz!)

  1. I lost all interest in Boxee when they went to ‘box only’ for their software. It’s based on XBMC and XBMC is a better alternative since the release of 11.0. They betrayed their users and hopefully the reap the rewards of said betrayal.

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    1. oh please…betrayal? XMBC is better and free and available. so what are you complaining about?

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  2. Viljo Viitanen Thursday, April 12, 2012

    I say boxee’s sun is setting, and it didn’t rise quite high.

    Cheaper (android based?) devices will run over it, or “smart tv” like at least Sony and Samsung have. For now you have to code separately for each manufacturer (and probably api version), but that’s the case for boxee too. Boxee has even deprecated its python api, it’s all html5 web apps now.

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  3. I purchased it and returned. The device is very buggy — biggest thing is it froze alot requiring you to go to the box and manually restart it.

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  4. Industry-wide trend? These sales are less than the previous edition of AppleTV per quarter. And those numbers have bumped up with the ATV3.

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    1. Well, I do mention Apple as an exception to the rule. But honestly, if Sony, Google and Logitech can’t move 1M together, it’s no surprise that Boxee would be low as well…

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      1. SG&L haven’t yet realized an intuitive interface makes sense, yet. Though I consider the 2D icons on the ATV3 and rather slipshod interim look. Apple never has approved of 2D as I recall.

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  5. Nikato Muirhead Thursday, April 12, 2012

    The price is too high, and the fact that they discontinued boxee for PC and Win, Mac, and Linux, turned me off. I have been with Boxee for so long, since before the brooklyn meet up, it is a shame that they let big media boss them around so much. Even with all the Boxee has done to screw their users, Big media still won’t let boxee box receive unencrypted cable feed. $99 is the magic #.

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  6. I’m now glad boxee stopped supporting pc clients an their last release was a crash monkey, or I would never have tried plex.
    I miss some of the social stuff, but I realise now how much I was being marketed to. annoying as I can’t even use any of those paid services anyway outside of the USA.
    Plex however, unencumbered by the need to play nice with the media giants, is a MUCH better media server. One machine host the server, plex clients everywhere just at the content. If I watch a show on my iPad, it marks it as watched in the server, and stops showing up in the unwatched list on my pc, on my phone, and everywhere else. Got a movie on YouTube that won’t play on a mobile device because of licence restrictions, the you tube plugin for plex just streams it through the server. Awesome!

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  7. How about the Xbox 360 as another exception? Anyone know of xbmc numbers? And don’t forget that a number of people use the apple tv as an xbmc box.

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  8. As a Boxee owner, I see it this way.
    Roku is for grand am and grand pa providing just the necessary apps.
    Boxee with its dnla, AirPlay plus apps

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    1. likefunbutnot Friday, April 13, 2012

      Er, the Boxee hardware doesn’t actually support DLNA. It has limited support for UPNP, a subset of DLNA, but in my experience, while it is able to list shared content on DLNA media servers, it fails to actually start playback of anything. I checked with DLink and was told that this is a feature they hoped to add in a future software update.

      The Boxee interface is nice, especially the remote, but I have to echo the sentiment that it’s just not a very good platform compared to xbmc.

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  9. I have two Boxee Boxes and after seeing mine my close friend has one now as well. My whole family loves them and we rarely have any problems (high resolution flash video can cause problems). They provide a key piece in our setup for dropping cable TV. I looked at the other options but was not impressed. I am interested in local media only however, I do not use or intend to use and of the streaming services.

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    1. I like my boxee box, but yeah, almost entirely for local streaming. i find it can be buggy and freeze occasionally. but when it comes to local playback, it is awesome. it plays everything!

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      1. I have three of them as I got a bit excited initially and wanted one for each room. I’ve been using them for about a year now.

        Pros:
        – 1080p
        – pulls from many apps, websites, networks, so you don’t have to goto the websites and watch content on a PC via xVGA cable
        – cheaper than Dish TV; but this is an argument for all streaming platforms
        – Many movies using Navix repository
        – Easy to access apps like youtube, Netflix, Slingbox, etc
        – streaming fast forward is working now

        Cons:
        – still very buggy, as James Kelly said, I’m also forced to manually reboot when system locks up
        – streaming from some networks isn’t always reliable
        – streaming from many movie sites aren’t reliable
        – boxee live for local broadcasting works well, but is an added cost. This should be included or at least provided as a significant discount
        – much more expensive then other options. I haven’t checked out XBMC but will do so for future

        John

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  10. If they didn’t have that moronic design, they would have sold a LOT more of the things. Count me as one who refused to buy one due to the stupid design choice they made. I predicted back when they unveiled the stupid design that it would be a horrible failure in the market. Called that one.

    I do hope they release a 2.0 version that has a sensible media stack friendly design..before they go bankrupt.

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