TiVo founders unveil $49 Qplay; aims to present unified interface for hundres of sources

“Before it became de rigueur for cable companies to offer subscribers heaps of video on demand, it was TiVo that started breaking down the hegemony of TV programming, giving viewers the chance to control what, when, and how they watched,” Kyle VanHemert reports for Wired. “Now, with a new venture called Qplay, the guys who founded TiVo are trying to upend our viewing habits once again.”

“The basic idea? Make web video from YouTube to Netflix and beyond more like good ole TV by letting viewers curate it into custom channels,” VanHemert reports. “Qplay, which is available today for $49 in a sort of quasi-beta early adopter release, is made up of a small Android-powered adapter for your TV, a cloud service for juggling content, and an iPad app for controlling it all. The whole thing is based around ‘Qs,’ or video playlists that get populated with clips from YouTube, Vimeo, and other sources around the web.”

“The app comes with a few automatically generated Qs (which I’m going to just call queues, because Qs looks weird),” VanHemert reports. “A news queue, for example, might watch the Twitter streams of sources like the AP, BBC and CNN and arrange all the videos posted there for back-to-back-to-back playback. You can watch on your TV or tablet, with the queue updating on the fly, say, to slot breaking news first. Pre-roll ads get stripped out, else you can scrub past them. A thumbnail view shows you what’s in store, and you can reorder playback by dragging them however you want.”

“There are also queues automatically generated from the stuff your friends are posting on Facebook and Twitter, like a video version of Flipboard. In addition to these algorithmically generated channels, you can also make mixes yourself, curating content from whatever sources and sharing them with your friends,” VanHemert reports. “All this happens through the iPad app…”

Much more in the full article here.


    1. They lost me at “Android”.

      Now, if they wanted to make a decent TiVo-like recorder for OTA TV I’d snap it up. Unfortunately, since the cable and satellite companies bought up a zillion TiVo boxes for their subscribers, you can no longer buy one for OTA TV. Gee, I wonder why?

  1. Interesting idea, but it faces the same hurdles Apple does now: Content. TiVo will have to convince content providers to let it lay its interface over their menus and basically take over the delivery of content (at least as far as the end user is concerned). Not sure that will happen.

  2. It would seem Apple could “fart” this concept out, as another channel. But they haven’t. So there must be problems with it.

    That’s the best I can do in short notice. However I will be watching this channel for further developments.

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