Boxee is promising a dongle for its Boxee Box that will enable users in North America to watch over-the-air channels and – the company expects – provide greater incentive to its customers to cut the cord.
The company expects to have the $49 USB device available in January and is already taking orders for it. It is similar to other dongles already on the market that turn other devices, including PCs, into TV receivers.
Boxee never even pretended it was going to play nice with traditional pay-TV services, and with this introduction, its behavior remains consistent.
On its corporate blog, Boxee makes the case that the reason that many pay-TV subscribers don't cut the cord is because they'd be cutting themselves off from access to live sporting events. By making it easy to get over-the-air TV, that segment of the audience might find the Boxee approach more attractive.
Further, the company pointed out, last year, 89 of the top 100 shows were on broadcast networks, and they remain the most popular channels on cable.
"Our assumption is that if people made a list of the stuff they actually watch, they would probably discover that most are on broadcast, and the rest are available on Vudu/Netflix/network sites," the blog reads. "Is what's left really worth $85 a month?"