Viewsonic said it is abandoning plans to build a TV embedded with software from over-the-top video company Boxee.
Viewsonic announced a 46-inch Boxee TV at CES in January.
The manufacturer of TVs and PC monitors had unveiled a 46-inch HDTV at the Consumer Electronics Show last January that was able to deliver Internet video from Boxee. The smart TV could have boosted distribution for Boxee's media center software, which is popular with cable cord cutters. But Viewsonic said it didn't see enough demand for the product.
"Smart TV has not achieved the consumer acceptance or market expectation that was forecasted over the last couple year," Viewsonic said in a statement released Thursday."Our current strategy is to stay involved with the various technology developments and consider them in the future as they become available."
The Viewsonic news, coupled with stagnant sales of connected TVs from Sony embedded with the Google TV platform, is prompting some industry observers to conclude that the market for smart TVs is dead. "What's happening in the connected TV space is it's not really about what consumers want, it's about what manufacturers are making. Simply having a connected TV doesn't mean you'll actually use it," Forrester principal analyst James McQuivey told Wired.
But it's too soon to dismiss the threat that connected TVs pose to cable operators. While Viewsonic may have abandoned plans to integrate Boxee in a TV, the sentiment for smart TVs would change if Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) ever follows through on talk that it will one day market its own TVs capable of delivering Web video content from iTunes.
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