Mix TV And The Web And What Do You Get? VC Money - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News

Mix TV And The Web And What Do You Get? VC Money

The allure of a TV-and-Internet cocktail attracted two different groups of investors this week.

AOL, Cisco, EchoStar Communications, and others gave $67 million in first-round funding to Rearden Steel Technologies, which grabbed attention because its founder and CEO is Steve Perlman, co-founder of WebTV Networks Inc. His latest venture, still under wraps (although it's suspected to involve a combo of TV, video games, and the Internet), won't release a product until the end of the year. By then, the Rearden name, an allusion to a character from an Ayn Rand novel, will change. But it fits for now, says chief operating officer Bill Keating.

"It invokes the notion of innovation in a world we think isn't innovating as quickly as it could be," says Keating.

Less-heralded MetaTV Inc. is developing software that would allow broadcasters to deliver interactive programming. It is backed by cable companies Cox Communications Inc. and a division of Comcast Corp., which led a $28 million financing round. "This will allow a consumer with a remote control to access his stock portfolio, weather, traffic, sports--everything you can do on a PC that makes sense on TV," says CEO Ranjit Sahota. In other words, fewer surfing options, less text and white space, and more color and ambient background movement--the atmosphere TV viewers are accustomed to. Unlike WebTV, a branded service that requires consumers to install a special box in their homes, MetaTV content would reach televisions via digital lines run by satellite and cable companies, Sahota says.

Paradoxically, as cable companies invest millions in digital infrastructure to increase bandwidth and offer more channels, the interactive service would be more restrictive than conventional online access from a computer. There may only be 15 or 20 content providers, for instance. "There wouldn't be a searching facility," says MetaTV president Andrew Lev. "The concept of the URL is gone."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
Slideshows
Data Science: How the Pandemic Has Affected 10 Popular Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/9/2020
Commentary
The Growing Security Priority for DevOps and Cloud Migration
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  9/3/2020
Commentary
Dark Side of AI: How to Make Artificial Intelligence Trustworthy
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  9/15/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Automation Transforms Network Management
In this special report we will examine the layers of automation and orchestration in IT operations, and how they can provide high availability and greater scale for modern applications and business demands.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll