It's been over two years since Samsung bought the streaming set-top box company Boxee, but it looks like all legacies of that purchase are about to be done away with. According to Variety, Samsung is laying off the entirety of the Boxee team and putting the group's work on ice. Former Boxee CEO Avner Ronen also left the company after spending time working as VP of product. The report claims that Samsung heavily invested in adding members to the Boxee team — growing its staff from 40 to near 100 — in an effort to build a "Perfect Experience" for TV.
That "perfect experience" (or PX for short) was going to center around a media tablet rather than a remote control; using a custom interface, it would show options for live TV alongside streaming offerings. The tablet would be meant to be used communally rather than by a single user as with most traditional tablets. Naturally, Samsung was also looking to partner with a variety of streaming services and pay TV operators, not unlike what Apple is rumored to be attempting for its next Apple TV. The remote and experience would have been packaged with higher-end TVs in an effort to "replace" the traditional TV remote.
Boxee was part of Samsung for two years, but there's nothing to show for it
While very little about this plan sounds all that revolutionary at this point, it appears that none of it will be coming to pass — at least not from the Boxee team entrusted with the project. Dozens have been laid off recently as part of the PX wind-down, including many who were hired after the Boxee acquisition. This comes after multiple issues along the PX road, including difficulty making deals with content providers as well as internal controversy over the project's direction.
That's all in the past now, though. While we wouldn't bet against Samsung revealing a new and improved Smart TV interface or service at some point down the line, it won't bear the legacy of Boxee. With that, we can finally lay to rest Boxee and its potentially interesting but ultimately flawed ideas of how to shake up how we watch TV.