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.