Fan TV Hopes to Integrate Live TV with SVOD, Inks Deal with Time Warner Cable

/ Apr 22, 2014

FanTV

A goal of great many subscription streaming services, especially Netflix and Hulu/Plus, is to eventually be available alongside linear television channels via a single user interface on the same set-top box.

The problem is, it’s going to be tough for any device maker to secure the necessary content deals with cable companies and television networks to launch such a unified platform. Many in traditional media are still very protective of their live TV assets, not to mention their hesitancy around relinquishing control over the TV user experience to an external party.

So instead we get connected-TV devices like the Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku, which offer a wide selection of streaming services — including many “TV Everywhere” apps created by cable companies and networks — but don’t have the “future TV” experience that many believe will one day, some day, happen.

A set-top box from Fan TV (formerly the video discovery service Fanhattan) is hoping to change that. Launched last year, the device was built to be the next-generation cable box. Problem is — again — that Fan TV hasn’t been able to secure deals with cable companies, rendering the box essentially useless.

Until now.

Fan TV has inked a deal with Time Warner Cable to make the device available to the cable company’s subscribers. Set to ship in the second quarter, TWC customers can pre-order Fan TV for $99, a $50 discount from the planned retail price. There are no additional costs.

With the device, TWC customers will have access to live television and on-demand streaming services, as well as Fan TV’s legacy video discovery experience, which allows users to search for their favorite content across both live and on-demand channels/apps.

On paper, that sounds great. But here come some caveats:

Users will have access to live television through the TWC TV app, which means users will only be able to watch the channels that Time Warner Cable has the necessary mobile/streaming deals with. (In other words: Not every channel.) Also, there’s no DVR support right now, so if you want to record a show or movie, you’re still going to need your existing old set-top/DVR.

On the SVOD side, Fan TV will come with services such as Redbox Instant by Verizon, Crackle, and Target Ticket. What you’re realizing right now is that Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, and Hulu Plus are all missing. (The company says more streaming services will be added over time.)

Which brings us to the third catch: Time Warner Cable is currently in the process of being acquired by Comcast, which has its own next-generation set-top platform with X1. It’s very possible that if the merger goes through, Comcast elects to kill the deal with Fan TV.

That would put Fan TV back at square one, and could be a reason for why the likes of Netflix and Hulu Plus haven’t embraced the platform yet — they want to see first if Fan TV catches on.

With that said, if Fan TV does catch on with a decent portion of Time Warner Cable’s 30 million customers, then that certainly paves the way for the kind of TV experience that many in the digital space are hoping for.

Tags: , , , , , ,


Nexus

Google’s Android TV Wants to Put Web Video Next to TV

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks: YouTube Attempts Bigger VR/360-Video Splash with...

kevjumba man up

KevJumba’s Feature Film ‘Man Up’ Premieres...

mary-meeker

Mary Meeker on the Biggest Trends in Tech and Advertising

HBO_image

HBO Now Is Coming to Android This Summer

Zealot Networks

Danny Zappin’s Zealot Networks Expands to Nashville, Buys...

Shomi

Canada’s Shomi to Go Standalone to Better Compete with Netflix

Digital video industry news today

Thursday 05.28.2015: News to Know

Netflix releases Q1 2015 earnings report

Netflix Is Still the Biggest Bandwidth Hog in North America

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks: Charter/TWC Post-Merger Could Launch National...

Adult Swim VR

Adult Swim Enters VR Game with ‘Virtual Brainload’ App

hbo gorburger show

HBO Orders TV Pilot Based on Funny or Die Web Series ‘The...

Hulu will be available via five other cable companies

Suddenlink to Bring Hulu to Its Set-Tops

Periscope is Twitter's live-streaming video app

Here Are a Few Must-Know Stats About Live-Video Apps Periscope...

Facebook Fortune The Chat

Time Inc.’s Fortune Is Launching Video Interview Series on...

tribeca-shortlist

Lionsgate, Tribeca Pick Jeff Bronikowski to Run...

"Grace and Frankie" starring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda will debut on Netflix

Netflix Renews ‘Grace and Frankie’ for Second Season

Fusion debuting new series on Snapchat Discover

Snapchat Hires Former Fox Exec to Beef Up Its Original Programming

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks: Netflix Plans ‘OrangeCon'; Portal A Hires...

olive and mocha web series

Reviewed! ‘Olive and Mocha’ Proves Kids Say the Most...

Periscope is Twitter's live-streaming video app

Periscope Finally Comes to Android

DEADBEAT_review

Hulu Renews ‘Deadbeat’ for Third Season

Digital video industry news today

Tuesday 05.26.2015: News to Know

AOL

The Guardian Joins AOL’s Video Network

the youtuber who isn't a youtuber andrew vallentine

Meet the Biggest YouTuber Without a Channel

the revolution of publishing online

Back to the Future: The Revolution of Publishing

hulu-plus

Does Taking on Cancelled Network Shows Make Sense for Hulu?

Wayside Creations makes live-action adaptations of video games

Wayside Creations Calls Success on Kickstarter a...

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks: FailArmy Launches Second Channel; YouTube Improves...

YouTube fans in Singapore

Endemol Beyond Launches in Singapore, Where YouTubers Happen to Thrive

Who makes the most effective ads on YouTube?

Which Industries Are Creating YouTube’s Most Effective Ads?

Digital video industry news today

Thursday 5.21.15: News to Know

BoJack Horseman second season starts July 2015

‘BoJack Horseman’ Will Return to Netflix on July 17

Dutch YouTuber Enzo Knol will star in a feature film

Film Starring European YouTuber to Come to Theaters in the Netherlands

wibbitz is a text-to-video israeli startup

Text-to-Video Startup Wibbitz Raises $8 Million in Series B Round

this web series about high school cheerleaders rules

Web Series Wednesday: Coming of Age

This kid is shocked by what she's seeing on YouTube Kids.

Google’s YouTube Kids App Is Full of Booze, Drugs, and Gore

Read today's digital video news stories

Quick Breaks: Netflix Grabs Kevin James Film; Vice Sports...