Kickstarter Hopeful Makes Cable Pitch

4SeTV Lets Users Watch Four Live TV Shows At Once
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4SeTV, a startup that hopes to raise cash in an upcoming kickstarter campaign, is also pitching the cable industry on a platform that enables viewers to watch four live shows simultaneously on a range of devices, including tablets, smartphones, and the big screen.

4SeTV, a company that launched in February and has secured some seed funding from South Korea-based set-top maker Digital Multimedia Technology (DMT), will be making its public debut at this week’s CableLabs Summer Conference in Keystone, Colo. 

4SeTV’s initial offering centers on a box that decode up to four streams and then reencode and stitch them into one stream that is tailored for delivery to the target device. Users can then select which audio stream to listen to of the four that are also being delivered within that stream. The 4SeTV app is currently designed to work on smartphones and tablets that run either iOS 7.x or Android 4.4 KitKat.

The company’s product is partially targeted to football fans and other sports nuts that are keen to watch more than one live event at a time.  

In the early going, 4SeTV (which stands for Four Screen Enhanced TV) is promoting the device’s ability to encode and recombine over-the-air broadcast HD video, but could be made to support unencrypted digital video delivered over cable networks. The company’s longer-term ambition is to have its technology incorporated into a cable box or as a client box that can support encrypted premium video, Hyung Lim, 4SeTV’s president and founder, said.

“Once we get some traction in the marketplace, we’ll see how to get additional content,” Lim said.

4SeTV is looking to raise funding through a Kickstarter campaign slated to get underway on August 11, and is targeting the fourth quarter of 2014 to have its product enter production. The company plans to start with direct sales through the Web (it envisions a price tag in the neighborhood of $180) and eventually offer its product through retail partners. Further out, it will seek OEM deals and try to offer its hardware and apps directly to MVPDs.

4SeTV isn’t the only company with a cable focus that’s targeting the delivery of multiple live video mosaics. ActiveVideo Networks has been offering that capability, initially to the TV set, via its cloud-based platform. Of recent note, Liberty Puerto Rico is using ActiveVideo for a new “Social Content Navigator” that presents a slate of live TV channels based on their popularity using near real-time viewership data. 

Here’s a sampling of what other vendors will demo at this week's CableLabs confab:

-Espial will demo a TV user interface based on HTML5 and the Reference Design Kit (RDK), the preintegrated software stack being managed by Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Liberty Global., that integrates apps such as YouTube.

-Synacor will show off its Homescreen Framework for Android, as well as its latest TV Everywhere and Cloud ID Authentication offerings. Specific demos will include a “TabletTV” platform that could be used as a premium give-away or used as a next-gen remote control, and “PowerPlay,” a TVE search and discovery product.

-Transparent caching specialist PeerApp will show off a “Content Service Extension” architecture in tandem with Sandvine and CDN company Limelight. CSE is billed as a platform that allows operators to monetize OTT content while also boosting a subscribers’ quality of experience. The demo will feature the managed deliver of 4K video from Limelight’s CDN.

-Intraway will show off its family of modular OSS and monitoring products, including its Flexible IP Version Selection (IFIVS), Automated Firmware Management (AFM), Complete Fraud Control (CFC) and Customer Interaction Portal (CIP), in addition to the Quality of Experience (QX) and Proactive Monitoring solutions. 

-UTStarcom will demo a set of new broadband products, including a carrier-focused WiFi access controller that, it claims, can support more than 120,000 access points on a single chassis, and a packet optical transport platform that can handle 100 Gbps transmission.

-ZCorum will show its PreEqualization Analyzer app, which locates upstream impairments and correlates that data to determine which devices are likely being impacted by a common technical issue.

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