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Samsung buys streaming video start-up Boxee

The Boxee Box, at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show. Boxee discontinued distribution of the box in 2012. (Ronda Churchill/BLOOMBERG)

Samsung confirmed that it has purchased the video-streaming company Boxee, a move that could help the Korean firm improve the software on its smart televisions and build a strong video platform that works across multiple devices.

Boxee, which is based in the United States and Israel, was an early player in the move to cut the cable cord and, as VentureBeat noted, had even lobbied to help shape policy around how set-top boxes could access content from basic cable channels.

A Samsung spokeswoman confirmed the acquisition, though not the rumored purchase price of $30 million, which was reported by the outlet that first broke the news, an Israeli business publication called The Marker.

“Samsung has acquired key talent and assets from Boxee,” the firm said in a statement. “This will help us continue to improve the overall user experience across our connected devices.”

Samsung makes everything from washing machines and televisions to smartphones and tablets, and the firm has been more aggressive in the past year in promoting its ecosystem as being as robust as prime competitor Apple’s.

Consumers who own an iPhone or iPad often end up buying other Apple devices because they can coordinate tasks across their screens. Taking up that selling point, Samsung has been highlighting a wider range of products and how the devices can work together. It recently struck a partnership with Best Buy to set up “mini-stores” within the retailer’s space dedicated to Samsung products and aiming to show how they stand against devices from Apple and other competitors.

In particular, the firm has been encouraging consumers to try the Samsung Media Hub, which serves content to smartphones, tablets, televisions and the HomeSync device, which is designed for easy sharing of content between smartphones and TVs.

Related stories:

Viacom gives Amazon exclusive rights to ‘Dora the Explorer,’ other kid shows

Apple TV partners with HBO, ESPN to bring apps to set-top box

Netflix cuts deal with DreamWorks for first-run TV content

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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