Will the shuttering of Akimbo offer any lessons for other makers of standalone set-top boxes? Akimbo, a video set-top box vendor turned white-label video content firm that was involved in AT&T's Homezone service, is shutting down and looking for a buyer, according to GigaOM's NewTeeVee. AT&T also had invested in Akimbo. So did Cisco Systems, along with some prominent venture capital firms.
Long before Apple TV, Vudu and more recently Sezmi, Akimbo tried to sell its own set-top box with video-on-demand streamed programming. However, the box cost well over $200 and required a monthly subscription fee. Nevertheless, Akimbo's fortunes were looking pretty bright back in 2006 when it priginally aligned with AT&T to become part of HomeZone at a time when the carrier was taking it slow with its fiber-based Project Lightspeed. However, it could not make the set-top business work and has been adjusting its business model ever since. Could a cheaper standalone set-top box, such as the new $100 box from partners Netflix and Roku, re-establish the market, or do these other set-top makers have a long, bumpy road ahead of them?