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.
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