February 25, 2014 by Rachel Cericola
Back in January, rumors were swirling that TiVo would exit the hardware business. While there was never a formal announcement (and there are still plenty of TiVo boxes to be had), two of the company’s co-founders are hoping that consumers will embrace a new box, known as Qplay.
Mike Ramsay and Jim Barton just announced the box, which is designed to work with web content instead of your cable provider. Qplay lets users browse web videos and create playlists known as “Qs.” Besides lists of actual videos, Qplay can create Personalized Qs based on a user’s interests, while Social Qs can leverage feeds from social networks and picks from “tastemakers.” There’s also an option to share Qs and sample Qs from other users.
The cornerstone of the setup is the Qplay TV Adapter, which connects to the TV. From there, users will need the Qplay iPad app for discovery, playback and control. Qplay also taps “into the power of the cloud,” where users can manage and access content.
“I have always been passionate about solving difficult technical problems in a way that enriches consumers’ lives and can scale to a “mass audience,” says James Barton, CTO and president of Qplay. “The delivery of compelling video experiences to consumers presents some unique and important technical challenges, far beyond those of the broadcast world. At Qplay, we have assembled a great team of engineers from Apple, Google and TiVo. Our innovation is resulting in a number of unique and powerful solutions, such as Qs, which result in a great experience for our customers.”
Right now, the app, the TV adapter and the cloud service are all bundled together for an introductory price of $49. Supplies are currently limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Additional orders will ship as soon as they’re available.
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.