Boxee to Land on Viewsonic TV, iPad (Sort of)
Boxee's having a big showing at CES 2011. First, Iomega added the Web TV platform to a trio of set-top boxes, and on Thursday Boxee announced an iPad app and the first Boxee-equipped TV from Viewsonic.
I got a chance to look at the iPad app on Thursday evening. It's not exactly Boxee as you know it, because there's no massive aggregation of Web video. Instead, the app provides access to home network content (with real-time conversion to iOS-friendly formats), video from your Facebook and Twitter feeds, a selection of featured content and video that you've tagged on the set-top software to watch later. Of course, only HTML5 streaming video will be available from Web sources.
Viewsonic's Boxee implementation is more straightforward, though I haven't seen it in action. According to Boxee's blog, the Viewsonic TV runs the same Intel Atom CE4100 processor that appears in D-Link's Boxee Box and Iomega's network-attached storage devices.
The TV play is important for Boxee as major TV vendors such as LG and Samsung beef up their own connected TV platforms. Boxee Chief Executive Avner Ronen told me that the software is free to license, so in theory any TV maker could put Boxee on its set-top in lieu of a homemade platform.
Viewsonic didn't announce pricing for its Boxee TV, which is a 46-inch model. The iPad app will be available in the second quarter of this year, for free.
Check out our complete coverage of CES 2011.