ZillionTV posed to take streaming media by storm
Watching what you want when you want it has long been the desire of home entertainment fans. The VCR first let families record their favorite programs while they were away, and then the DVD-R had mild popularity (at least in the States). TiVo revolutionized the category, and the cable providers soon followed suit with DVRs. But all of these solutions still limited you to watch what was broadcast on TV.
Now we’re in the midst of a revolution. Streaming videos is becoming ubiquitous with services like Joost and hulu.com. Netflix, Yahoo!, Amazon, VUDU, and Blockbuster are also providing different ways to stream television and movie content over the internet right to your home’s TV. So what makes ZillionTV different?
At first this reminds me of MovieBeam, the short-lived rental service that beamed rental movies right to your home. But it is different now because technology has expanded much in the past three years.
ZillionTV knows it is content that brings users to their service, so they have collected a wide array of content providers to their service even before it launched. Five of the six major Hollywood studios are signed up to provide content to ZillionTV. Warner Bros., NBC Universal, Sony Pictures, Fox, and Disney are all on board. This gives them at least a fighting chance now that other services have the studios supporting them.
Another ZillionTV first is that some content will be available free of charge, provided you watch ads. This is already successful through services like hulu.com where the short adverts are unobtrusive. ZillionTV will also allow the user to customize what types of ads they receive.
ZillionTV will also stream 1080i video with the intention to go to 1080p. Sure this is the compressed video that looks about as good as DVD, but it is a start.
A few concerns I have include the cost. The set-top box is free, but it has a sub-$100 activation fee. Does this mean you do not own the box?
I’m also concerned that everything in your home theater how streams video. From your TV to your game console to your Blu-ray player to your AV receiver, how many devices do you need to stream 30 Rock? This is not to mention DirecTV, Dish Network and the cable providers also have video-on-demand competitively priced with these other set-top products.
So will the set-top streaming box last more than a few years? With inexpensive HDTVs from Vizio streaming video right to the display, what good is a box in the middle? It’s just one more remote, and another GUI to learn.
Learn more about ZillionTV.