Web-to-TV service Boxee will soon have a box in more than name. The New York-based startup said Thursday that it has partnered with an undisclosed manufacturer to create a consumer electronics device running its software for watching Internet video on a TV.
"I am very happy to announce we have signed our first partnership with a CE company," wrote company founder and CEO Avner Ronen in a blog apost Thursday. "At this point we can not say more about the partner or the specs of the device, but we can tell you we are working closely with them to make sure we deliver a great Boxee experience on it."
The company plans to show mockups of the set-top box to be released next year and provide more details at a press event on Dec. 7.
While launched only last year, Boxee has had an outsized impact on the TV industry because of the threat it represents in leading people to give up their cable or satellite TV subscriptions. It already has about 700,000 users.
Boxee earlier this year got into a skirmish with Hulu, which blocked the company from showing its content. The Web video hub -- backed by NBC Universal, Fox and ABC -- eventually relented, and most of its programming is now available on Boxee.
Currently, users typically access Boxee's free service by connecting a cable from a PC to a TV to enjoy Web programming on a larger screen. It also lets people tap their own movie, TV show or music collections as well as connect with friends via social properties like Facebook and Twitter.
But offering a dedicated Boxee device would make the service more convenient for users and potentially accelerate its uptake beyond early adopters. It would also provide a variety of viewing options.
"This will be the first connected device running Boxee, but the idea is to provide consumers with a way to get Boxee in their living rooms, no matter whether it's on a Connected TV, game console, set-top box, BluRay player, computer, etc.," wrote Ronen on the Boxee blog.
Boxee has raised a total of $10 million in venture capital to data from investors including Spark Capital, Union Square Ventures and General Catalyst Partners.