TiVo’s founders Mike Ramsay and Jim Barton have teamed up to launch a new cloud TV initiative called QPlay in the US, in an initiative that is likely to compete with existing internet streaming devices such as ChromeCast and Apple TV.
QPlay comprises a mobile application that runs on an iPad, a TV adapter that allows users to stream video direct from the web, and a cloud service that manages the experience.
The adapter can be plugged into the TV, while the iPad app enables the tablet to be used as a companion device that allows users to find video on the web from multiple sources and add it to a queue, allowing viewers to create their own playlists from multiple sites.
The QPlay TV adapter, which connects to the TV via an HDMI cable and to the internet via an 802.11b/g/n WiFi adapter, is to be retailed in the US for US$49 (€36) as a promotional offer.
QPlay’s founders have yet to strike significant deals with premium online content providers such as Netflix, although YouTube content is available.
In a blog posting, Ramsay said that QPlay was “designed for a very different world of video entertainment” than TiVo.
“A key to our development approach is that we started from the ground up to understand what people really wanted, how much control they needed, and which capabilities they would value over today’s broadcast model,” said Ramsay.
“We understood that many people still wanted to watch TV and get great content. People wanted to create collections of videos and share them with their friends. People demanded the flexibility to watch video on the TV and mobile devices. We felt if we could address these basic needs, we could start to realize our vision.”
Ramsay said that QPlay would evolve in line with feedback received from its early users.
“During this year, we’ll be adding more content, especially movies and TV shows. We’ll enhance the user experience and add new features,” he said.
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