9 Comments

Summary:

Viewsonic won’t be selling the Boxee-powered smart TV it showed off at CES earlier this year: The company has told us that consumer interest is too low and hardware costs are too high. This is bad news for Boxee, but also the industry as a whole.

press-boxee-logo

Viewsonic has abandoned its efforts to bring a Boxee-powered TV set to market, citing high costs and insufficient interest from consumers in so-called smart TVs.

The company had shown off a 46” TV set running Boxee’s media center software at CES, and at the time, said it would be available in the second quarter of 2011. Things have obviously changed since then: “ViewSonic is not releasing a Boxee-powered set in the near-term,” the company told us in an emailed statement this week after we asked about the status of the product.

The decision to pull the plug on the product is bad news for Boxee, which had hoped to move beyond set-top boxes with this collaboration. A Boxee representative told us that “the Viewsonic opportunity has been pushed to the side for the moment to concentrate on other opportunities,” but wasn’t able to elaborate further. I was told that the Iomega partnership that had also been announced at CES was still on track, with devices expected to come to market in mid October.

Asked about the reasons for its change of heart, Viewsonic sent us the following explanation:

“‘Smart TV’ has not achieved the consumer acceptance or market expectation… that was forecasted over the last couple years. In addition, consumer spending for Smart TV’s in general has experienced a significant slow down as the economy has slowed. Our current strategy is to stay involved with the various technology developments and consider them in the future as they become available.”

The company said it is closely following developments at Intel and other silicon vendors that could result in “future cost reduction.” In other words: The hardware currently necessary to run a media center solution like Boxee simply is too expensive. Viewsonic had planed to use Intel’s CE 4100 chipset, which also powers D-Link’s Boxee Box as well as Logitech’s Revue Google TV box.

Speaking of Logitech: The hardware peripherals maker recently had to admit that sales of its Revue box were far below expectations, and subsequently cut the price from $299 to $99. Looks like Viewsonic wanted to avoid a similar fate.

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. As usual, still waiting for the upgraded Apple TV with A5 processor and 1080p.

  2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Content is KING! Boxee is ahead of its time, but, also lacks the key human capital and deep balance sheet to be a player. RIP

    1. Yes, all those online content makers like newspapers are doing super well, and Google is in disarray.

      1. he means in terms of video content and yes Google TV is in disarray.

    2. Steve I agree with you 1000%!

  3. Consumers just want a basic HDTV for a good price, that’s why 3D TV’s aren’t selling. Besides buying a TV that is internet enabled is not wise, it’s bettr to buy a set top box that can be replaced or upgraded.

  4. Way overpriced, not even an internal drive in the model best buy is selling.

  5. There need to be a surge of investment in connected device content networks…like Revisions 3, KoldCast, Hulu, HBOGo & Q3030. If these set top & OTT developers had partnerships with Quailty content networks, consumers would buy and use these devices…Content Is King!

  6. I’m surprised they’re surprised. People only buy TV’s once every 10 years.

Comments have been disabled for this post