After a few months in private beta, social video recommendations site Matcha.tv has publicly launched with new features, including the ability to help users organize and keep track of the TV shows and movies they love. And it’s not just for online-only distributors like Netflix or Hulu Plus: The company also recently partnered with Comcast to recommend online episodes available to its Xfinity TV customers as well.
Matcha.tv entered its private beta primarily as a site for recommending TV shows and movies. With the latest update, however, the startup has redesigned its site to give users the ability to create queues and help people follow TV shows. The goal, CEO Guy Piekarz told us in an interview last week, is to become a sort of “DVR in the cloud.” Rather than recording their favorite programs on a DVR set-top box, they’ll be able to catch up on new episodes as they become available online.
While introducing a queue for keeping track of online programming, Matcha.tv has also added new content from Comcast’s XfinityTV.com. That integration works just like Matcha’s existing connections with Netflix and Hulu Plus, and will let Comcast subscribers keep track of authenticated, TV Everywhere programming from cable networks like HBO or Showtime. It also adds broadcast content to Matcha’s library from CBS, which has a distribution partnership with Comcast for new shows that aren’t available through Hulu.
For Matcha.tv, getting a major distributor like Comcast on board shows its willingness to go beyond just serving up videos from online-only sources. And it speaks to the future of content distribution, as the lines are being blurred between what’s recorded on a physical DVR, stored on a network DVR in the cloud, or viewed on-demand, either through traditional VOD or online VOD services.
While Matcha.tv is browser-based today, the startup is working on an iPad app that will be built in HTML5 with a native iOS wrapper around it. That will allow Matcha.tv to repurpose the code for other devices, including Android tablets and mobile devices, as well as (potentially) connected TVs or Blu-ray players. The company is also working on second-screen applications that could connect mobile devices with PCs and other screens in the home.