Media

Boxee sees Google TV as complementary in bringing Web to your TV

Now that Google has officially announced its plans to revolutionize the way we watch TV, it’s time for potential competitors to react. One of the most promising TV-Web players is the New York-based Boxee, which has been working on software that lets users bring Web content to their televisions for the past few years. According to a recent tweet by the company’s founder, Avner Ronen, he sees Google TV as more complementary than competitive, and he seems interested in developing a Boxee Android app for TVs.

The company unveiled plans for a set-top box of its own late last year, which it’s calling the Boxee Box. While Boxee as a platform may not necessarily be competing with Google TV, the Boxee Box certainly is. It’s being manufactured by D-Link, and will feature a remote with an integrated keyboard (something Logitech is developing for Google TV as well). Many media addicts like myself have been eagerly awaiting the device — which is supposed to hit sometime in 2010 — but with the possibility of Google TV set-top boxes on the way, it instantly seems less tempting.

Google TV will bring together Web video from a variety of sites, like Hulu, Netflix, and broadcast networks — but most importantly it integrates the Web content directly with your standard television channels. Instead of being a separate device that handles Web content alone, Google’s goal is to make it a key part of your normal TV-watching experience. That’s a big step beyond what Boxee is offering.

The possibility of an Android app also makes the Boxee Box less relevant. If you can get a Google TV box that can do Boxee plus a lot more, why would you get a standard Boxee Box? But it makes sense when it comes to the viability of Boxee as a platform, much like how Amazon is much better off making its Kindle software available for devices like the iPhone, iPad, and Android phones.