Boxee Founder: ‘People Don’t Want Web Browsing on Their TV’

This is funny. First Boxee was not interested in anything but delivering apps through its platform until Google TV came along. Then, this past September, Boxee announced that they were going to integrate a full WebKit browser into their upcoming version of Boxee that would embrace the open web and TV optimized web apps. Now, Boxee founder Avner Ronen is telling everyone at paidContent’s “Battle for the Digital Home” conference that people don’t want to surf the ‘net on their TV. “They’re interested in the content. That’s it.” Really? Which is it? With that line of thinking, Apple should consider removing their web browser from their app-centric iDevices because no one wants to browse the web on their phone or tablet. Yeah, right. The reality is people will most often want to have a browser on a device that’s capable of running one than not. My guess is that the Boxee Box is not ready for surfing the ‘net (if the browser is even ready when it begins shipping tomorrow, November 10th). The remote the Boxee Box will ship with — a 4-way (up, down, left, right) navigation remote / QWERTY keyboard — is inadequate to provide users a proper experience. Perhaps they’ll change their tune once they upgrade their Boxee remote mobile app or release a 2nd generation remote.

UPDATE 11/10/2010: Avner Ronen at the Boxee Box launch event just announced that HTML5 apps will be supported. What’s more, he’s hoping TV optimized web apps will become mainstream. No word on how users are supposed to bookmark web apps without having the ability to surf the ‘net…. Perhaps Boxee will be the gatekeeper of which web apps will be listed in their app catalog à la iTunes?

Native Apps HTML5 Web Apps Web Browsing
Boxee X X (new in v1.0) not enabled (by choice)
Google TV X X X

Related: Engadget – Boxee Box by D-Link Review (Rating: 6/10) [posted 11/16/2010]

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Filed in: Industry Buzz, Streaming Media Devices

3 Reactions to “Boxee Founder: ‘People Don’t Want Web Browsing on Their TV’”

  1. nite_man says:

    Agree, they have to add some kind of mouse pointer with tachpad. Maybe optical one. Or do something similar to Gyration mouse.

  2. Hari Seldon says:

    He’s right, no one wants to surf the web on their TV, this should be obvious by now. which is why Google TV will fail. However including a browser on the Boxee Box is an obvious move, for when viewers don’t have an app for a particular url, but you might ant to grab the RSS address for example. But what does this have to do with Apple’s iOS devices?

  3. Anonymous says:

    browsing on the TV is great! have done sone sine 2008 with me Wii and operabrowser, a breeze to contol the interface with the nuchunck and it support flash also. come on boxee.