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Summary:

Here comes another Android-powered over-the-top streaming box — but you won’t find it on store shelves any time soon: Israel-based Vidmind is targeting virtual cable operators with a complete package that gets them up and running on TVs, mobile phones, iPads and web browsers.

vidmind feature art

Israel-based video startup Vidmind is coming out of stealth mode at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam Thursday with an offer that seems to geared for those mythical virtual cable operators we’ve all been waiting for.

Vidmind offers operators a white-label Android-based over-the-top box as well as apps for phones and tablets and a web UI, all of which can be custom-branded and used to stream linear and on-demand content to consumers. It also promises to provide operators with the complete backend and cloud infrastructure to run the service. In other words: A complete out of-the-box solution to sign up cord cutters and people in search for cheaper, more interactive TV alternatives.

Who would buy into this kind of service? Internet providers looking to expand into the TV business for example, or smaller local cable operators who want to concentrate on selling Internet services instead of investing a lot of money into future-proofing their TV infrastructure. And anyone who wants to compete with big guys like Cox and Comcast on their home turf, without having any physical cables in the ground or satellites in the sky.

There’s been a lot of talk about the possibility of someone launching this kind of virtual cable operator – a company that transmits all of its programming over the Internet. There’s been some movement in this space, with Dish targeting expats with its Dishworld service, and companies like Skitter experimenting with broadcast streams on Roku and other platforms – but we’ve yet to see a big virtual operator target the entire U.S. market.

Vidmind demonstrates that the tech piece of the puzzle is pretty much solved. Getting the content to actually get people to subscribe could be much harder.

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  1. The only way this has any chance of success is if it convinces content providers to offer the unreachable, holy grail of all content nirvana’s;

    Ala carte channel pricing.

  2. Weird, hadn’t heard about the concept before, but on monday a Swedish company called Magine presented a service like this. Which will be launched during Q1 2013 in Sweden, with the aim to launch in other European countries later.

    Feedback was mixed, mainly positive. But several content providers were positive, including tv channel companies. Even one that also ownes distribution channels.

    I wonder if there is some kind of connection between these companies (Magine using Vidmind?) or if the timing was random.

    http://magine.com

    Press release (in Swedish only)
    http://www.mynewsdesk.com/se/pressroom/magine/pressrelease/view/svenskt-bolag-introducerar-ett-helt-nytt-saett-att-se-paa-tv-790497

    1. Interesting, thanks, will definitely check them out.

      1. You’re welcome. Keep in touch and let me know if we may be of service to you in any way. @alexander_kevin

  3. Kevin Alexander Friday, September 7, 2012

    Dear Mr. Roettgers:

    Your article in GigaOm was brought to our attention today and we thought it might be helpful for you and your readers to know that the first “Virtual Cable Operator” TV service targeting consumers in the United States was in fact launched in February of 2008 by our company – Sky Angel U.S., LLC.

    Below are links to two of our websites where you will find details about each of our two branded “Over the Top” television services. Additionally I’ve also included a link to an article published in this month’s September 10, 2012 issue of Forbes Magazine highlighting some of the most significant business challenges we’ve encountered in this space.

    (1) FAVE TV Website: http://wwwfavetv.com

    (2) Sky Angel Website: http://www.skyangel.com

    (2) Forbes Magazine Article – (8/23/12): http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2012/08/23/the-tiny-tv-broadcaster-that-cable-and-internet-giants-are-trying-to-kill/

    We appreciate your interest in the “cord cutter” consumer and the “Over-the-Top” television / multichannel video marketplace. We look forward to getting to know you better and would welcome the opportunity to host a visit/tour at either our corporate headquarters or network operations center.

    Sincerely,

    Kevin Alexander
    —–
    VP, Marketing
    Sky Angel U.S., LLC / FAVE TV

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