No Netflix for Popbox At Launch? (Ever?)

Dave Zatz —  May 28, 2010 — 9 Comments

Over the last week or so, I’ve received a few tips and inquiries regarding the Popbox folks removing all Netflix references and imagery from a redesigned website ahead of launch.

While the Popbox brings along many of the powerful local playback capabilities found in Syabas’ precursor Popcorn Hour devices, the Popbox introduces a refreshed UI and apps. Indeed, Netflix is now a conspicuous absence… given the competition, but also since Syabas pushed it hard as part of their launch announcement (CES flyer below, my CES briefingpress release here). Yesterday, I reached out to their PR team for clarification:

So I get the story right… Will Netflix be available on Popbox at launch?

PopBox wants to have as many apps on the platform as possible at launch but we don’t have the final lineup quite yet. The great thing about the platform is that it updates easily, so while I can’t confirm either way that Netflix will be available at launch just yet, we do hope to have Netflix on the box as soon as possible.

I have little insight into how Netflix licenses streaming partners – requirements, compensation, etc. But it does appear that something has changed or wasn’t worked out in a timely fashion by Syabas given the current Netflix situation. And something to (re)consider should you have pre-ordered a Popbox from Amazon.

(Thanks David, Tom!)

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9 responses to No Netflix for Popbox At Launch? (Ever?)

  1. I pre-ordered a wireless model and I will probably not cancel even if it is confirmed that Netflix will not be a part of the initial, or even in the near future. Even though my gut instinct tells me this box has a pretty good chance of being DOA, I figure worst case scenario is I get a $150 door stop.

  2. My guess is that the open architecture of the popbox is a little too open for Netflix and its lawyers. The ONE thing that Netflix cannot afford is to have its stream hacked and bit-perfect saved locally. It’s sort of their business model.

  3. And that “ONE thing” is exactly what Alex Limberis is up to.

  4. Waaaaaaa, I want my CRUCHYROLL!

  5. Bummer, I have been waiting for popbox over getting a roku primarily as netflix with NAS content streaming. Without Netflix, this product is a nogo for me.

  6. I already have at least a dozen devices that play Netflix. I don’t need the PopBox for that. I do need the PopBox to play back BD ISOs though.

  7. Thespecialist June 19, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    I don’t believe Netflix will be available on the Popbox, since it’s based on the 8643. The odd number CPU’s from Sigma don’t have the security SoC, which is needed to decode the Netflix stream. So even if Netflix would license the Popbox (which seems unlikely in the first place), I don’t think they can process their feed anyway.

  8. Gosh, if they don’t bring Netflix or Amazon video on demand, than I can’t get it. For me that is half the point. Too bad they can’t work it out. Boxee has it and they are coming out with a $200 box later this year. Personally I like the popbox better, but not without Netflix and/or Amazon VOD. Hope they get it together.

  9. I purchased the popbox without knowing that netflix wasn’t on there. But I don’t really care. I wanted the popbox for it’s video streaming from a network drive. Which it does really well. Streaming from netfix is over rated anyway. The quality is so-so at times and the selection of good movies are poor. If you have movie files on a hard drive, and want to play them on your TV. The popbox is the way to go! The video quality is excellent. And the user interface is great. It will finds your movie files, give your movies cover art, run times, release dates and general info about the movies. And all this is automatic. It does this for your music as well. If you really want netflix. There are alot of DVD players that have it built in. But if you want something that will play any audio & video files that you might have & look good doing it. And all this for $130, if you ask me it’s a no brainer

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