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Summary:

Internet TV provider ZillionTV, another company offering an alternative to cable, launched today. According to a preview from the LA Times,…

imageInternet TV provider ZillionTV, another company offering an alternative to cable, launched today. According to a preview from the LA Times, the service includes some features that separate it in some ways from other internet-streaming options like Boxee and Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) Media Center’s set-top box. Those include better-quality streaming, rewards programs to encourage viewers to actually watch the ads it runs, and a slick set-top box and remote control that make for easier viewing of internet streams on the TV. More after the jump.

While bringing internet streams to the television screen in theory represents a huge potential business opportunity, ZillionTV could face some of the same problems that have hurt its competitors recently, the most obvious of which being securing content for the long-term. As we reported a couple weeks ago, Hulu pulled its content from Boxee when cable operators put pressure on the networks that provide Hulu with content to make their online shows exclusive to cable subscribers. Cable operators like Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) and Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) have been eyeing their own internet-streaming service that would be open only to their subscribers. They argue that since they pay the networks a lot of money each year to carry their channels, they should have exclusive access to the online streaming of those shows as well.

For now, the cable companies appear to be primarily concerned with streaming services that also offer a set-top box to transfer videos to the TV, so it will be interesting to see how cable operators react to ZillionTV.

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  1. Hulu pulled boxee is a really bad sign for this start-up. VC should see a deadpool before they invest in any more box start-up. Sounds like akimbo 2.0 DOA to me.

  2. Boxee, are you kidding? How about Akimbo and Vudu as the REAL comps that demonstrate the true (lousy) prospects for this product?? The Set Top Box model is a JOKE!

    This product was designed with advertisers in mind and will not present a compelling reason for consumers to own a box.

  3. Forcing consumers to subscribe to a cable system (or Mini-dish satellite) just perpetuates the monopoly that the Broadcast/Cable Cartel have on Americas consumers. Paid for streaming content must be free of the FORCED BUNDLING that has driven the montly cost of "cable" to $50.00, $70.00, even over $100.00 per month, IF paid streaming is to ever become a viable alternative.

  4. Zillions has no interesting content, no 1080p video, no exclusive content, and I doubt they can provide a free box. 14 million USD in funding, they will be ended by larger companies such as Hulu, Apple, Netflix, Comcast, Direct TV, etc… With 100 + employee's Zillions is DOA from the start. Not enough content to interest me. No proprietary technology. Do this venture right or go home. How will they survive.

    :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(

    :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(

  5. Cable will lose some market share , things won't be like they used to be … MONOPOLY

  6. According to a recently filed lawsuit against ZillionTV, they owe Warner Bros. $13 million for their content, I wonder how much they owe the other studios: http://bit.ly/cQIEt5

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