Viewsonic is announcing the first TV set featuring Boxee’s media center software at CES Thursday. The announcement follows the unveiling of an Iomega NAS server with Boxee earlier this week and marks a significant win for Boxee, which has been trying to move beyond early adopters to mainstream consumers.
The announcement itself was scarce on details, but Viewsonic’s 46″ TV will apparently be powered by the same Intel Atom processor that’s also at the core of the Boxee Box and the upcoming Iomega NAS. The device will be available in Q2, and Viewsonic promised to share further details about features and pricing at that time.
In 2010, Boxee’s device ambitions were mostly focused on the Boxee Box by D-Link, but the New York-based startup never made a secret of its ambitions to bring its media center solution to as many devices as possible. Boxee’s VP of marketing Andrew Kippen told me a year ago that implementations on TVs and Blu-ray players would be the logical next step. The partnership with Viewsonic should help to get the company some new users outside of its core audience of hardcore media geeks.
However, satisfying these new audiences won’t come without challenges for the small startup. The Boxee Box, which launched in November, has gotten a mixed reception, mostly because major content sources like Netflix, VUDU and Hulu Plus are still missing. Boxee recently said that it hopes to have both VUDU and Netflix available before the end of the month. Kippen added yesterday that Boxee is “still in discussions with Hulu to bring Hulu Plus onto our platform,” but that it doesn’t have any updates on that front at this time.
Check out our take on the Boxee Box in our weekly web series Cord Cutters:
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