Start-up of the week / Live Definition, bringing the Internet to your TV
Its technology lets anyone with a dream and an upload create video content, and charge for it to boot.
Israelisspend an average of 232 minutes a day watching screens, any screens. The French clock 236 minutes a day, and in Italy the average is 266. Great Britain must have great broadcasting, because the average viewer in the United Kingdom passes 275 minutes a day in front of some sort of screen. One thing all these viewers from all over the world have in common is, probably, moaning about the content.
What if they could easily and cheaply make their own?
More and more people have been abandoning the trusty television and the hundreds of cable channels they don't even want for online content, opting to watch on computer monitor, tablet or smartphone. According to the global consulting firm Accenture, Italians watch 8 percent of their content online, while the French log on for 10 percent. Brits watch 14 percent of their content without a boob tube in sight. But – those screens just don't do the trick for many people.
Now there's a start-up that makes it easy to upload your own content to Internet, sit back - and even watch it on (appropriately equipped) TV sets, if so one chooses.
Kobi Hadad is the founder and CEO of Live Definition, a "cloud-based" media company, which is the latest way to simply say, Internet-based. Its technology can help anyone with a video clip to broadcast create their own private video-on-demand service, he says.
"Before, a person who wanted to set up a video service had to carry out a full-scale project: hire one company to program the software, another to develop the user interface, one to bill clients, another to create applications for Android, and maybe another for iPhones and iPads. Our system does everything, from A to Z," he claims, sparing the hassle of working with multiple companies.
The user sets up an account on the company's website, uploads his videos and if he wants, he can tweak the website's look and feel. He can add his own logo, puts in a PayPal account to handle payments, and – action! The site is live.
Live Definition users can charge their customers per month or per view. "We're like Netflix off-the-shelf," says Hadad. "All content is stored on an Amazon cloud, and works automatically on about 15 different products: any GoogleTV Android, Boxee, iOS, and of course, your PC or Mac computer."
Founded in 2009, Live Definition has only eight employees. It charges every customer a whopping $2 for use of its product.
Its clients include the Israeli clothing chain Fox, for whom Live Definition did the video work on the website Foxbaby; foreign clientele include FashionTV and Lionsgate studios. It is also the source behind the Hebrew-language video content site Ynet Cinema.
The bottom line is that families are once again gathering around the television, but not as grandma knew it. Content is now going from Internet to television, a trend known as Smart TV, or Connected TV. In the not-so-distant future, Smart TV will make that old staple, the television channel, obsolete. Instead, we will have only apps: sports, finance, fashion, cartoons, you name it. Internet-connected televisions produced by Samsung, Philips LG and Panasonic can also show content uploaded to Live Definition.
So get ready, couch potatoes. The World Wide Web isn't just coming soon to a living room near you. It's already here.