Qplay: TiVo's Founders Have Created New Way to Watch TV
I was looking for a highly interactive new application that would seriously boost entertainment pleasure, and it looks like I may be getting what I was looking for. If you were following along here, I talked about my wish for a Website DVR –an application with the ability to record shows directly from different websites with no wait time, no buffering, and (in a perfect world) with no internet necessary.
It looks like TiVo co-founders Michael Ramsay and Jim Barton may have been listening to my wish list a bit. These two are back and are presenting something called a Qplay device and service that they’ve been developing since 2012. It’s a video streaming device controlled by an iPad app. It’s about the size of an external hard drive and video playback is used directly from the cloud (meaning you can play videos when using another iPad or even when the iPad is turned off). TiVo was focused on TV but Qplay is all about online video. And, like I mentioned in my last DVR article
, they are covering all their bases. Their plan and goal is to have videos from sites like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and live television. Just to be clear, the company is not there yet but they have launched an early adopter program for $49.
What do I like about it? It’s efficient and has what I was hoping for. The videos play non-stop so you get a TV-like experience rather than a slow internet connection experience. They are also thinking outside the box here, they’re looking for ways to integrate premium sites as well as live TV to appeal to all of their subscribers.
A lot of people are comparing Qplay to Chromecast. It does have differences. “Qplay” is organized around queues or “Qs”.
“Queues are essentially playlists for videos, some of which are automatically generated based on RSS and Twitter feeds, while others are curated by Qplay’s users. The other big difference to Chromecast, and other media streaming devices for that matter, is that Qplay wants to integrate all media into a single app instead of forcing users to access many different apps for their favorite videos. ‘There used to be 500 channels, now there are 500 apps,’ [Michael Ramsay] said. At launch, Qplay supports videos from YouTube, Vimeo, Vine and other publishers.”
The Qplay app is priced at $49 right now for the early adopter program. The Qplay app will supposedly always be free, but the company plans to offer value-added services that they would charge for in the future.
A few interesting things about Qplay:
• Based on “Qs”, so it’s goal is to provide you with videos that interest you without you having to search for them
• A “Q” is a continuous stream of items in a particular topic
• Strings these videos together no matter where they are found (like Flipboard)
• Finds videos by scanning Twitter, YouTube, etc. in each particular topic (ex: Tech)
• You give feedback to help it tailor to your taste
• You don’t have to watch ever video in the “Q”, you can jump from video to video
• You can organize your own “Qs” with videos you pick and publish them for others to watch
• The Qplay TV adapter runs Android
• Has a built-in Wi-Fi connection
What do you think of the Qplay vision? Will you be getting one? What features would you like to see added or changed? What features are you most interested in trying out?
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