Popbox and all of its Friends: The New Digital Media Battle Landscape

The Appetizer

The Popbox is a media streamer similar to Boxee, that enables users to stream internet based media (such as audio, video, social networking-related sites) directly to a person’s television set.  Both Popbox and Boxee support Flash, however their processors are different along with some additional features.  It is scheduled to launch in June 2010 with 20 apps.

The Main Course

The Dessert

A new war has officially revealted itself– the war of the media streamers and set top boxes!  Popbox, Boxee, Mac-mini, Roku, U-verse, Fios, etc– all of them IPTV based technologies that enable users to view and stream various forms of media through internet connections either directly from the internet and/or indirectly via computer links (ie- Uverse can be connected to a computer via Windows Media Center to stream and save content to one another).  But they are not the only ones– you also have Microsoft’s XBox360, Sony’s PS3, and even Nintendo’s Wii.  Before, the war seemed like it would be about who was going to own internet television, with previous contenders in the spotlight being companies such as You Tube, Yahoo, Hulu, Vudu, Sling Media.  Now that war has dwindled to two primary competitors– YouTube and Hulu, and even they are slowly making the transitions to becoming media streamers onto television sets.  Vudu, in fact, actually entered the set tob box (stb) world as well.  So ultimately, the war has left from being the leading Intentet tv provier over the internet, and turned into being about the leading MEDIA provider over your television set.  But of course, that is just the beginning, because that war will utlimately shift again into who will be the leading MULTI-PLATROM provider shortly, but for now watching this emerging industry begs the question who will be the leader?  Each company has their benefits, distinguishing aspects from one another, but ultimately there are too many competitors in an already crowded market that already includes cable and satellite set top boxes from companies doing their best to integrate or evolve into offering similar offers.  You will find a similar situation with the stb wars as we did with the videogame system battles in the mid- late 90s– how many systems, in this case stbs, will one household really want to have- or need?  As a result like the videogame, internet, and web tv bubbles, they will burst, and the victors will reveal themselves in due time.

The Overall Meal

5 Stars!

The Doggybag

Who do you think will be the victor in the media box?

Please place your response below.

Let the convos begin!

One thought on “Popbox and all of its Friends: The New Digital Media Battle Landscape

  1. I think the issue is not who is going to win the settop box position, but how the game consoles and the boxes have to evolve to become more computing platforms. When boxee, roku and the consoles add a fully featured browser inside their systems (they are already somewhat web based after all), they will succeed. I like my roku box and enjoy watching many movies on it, but it would be nice to just open up a browser and type in a URL, rather than having to bring along an entire PC OS to do that function.

    We are already seeing instant-on Windows PCs that have small Linux-like boot environments to bring up browsers and DVD players, so that users don’t have to wait for their OS to wake up to just watch a movie or listen to a song. So this is how the long-awaited convergence will happen.

    David Strom

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