A new company called ZillionTV says it will soon introduce a new service that will enable cable and satellite subscribers to cut the cord and get subscription-free movies and TV shows right on their TVs from the Internet.
The company, which officially launched on Wednesday, has struck deals with some major Hollywood movie studios and TV networks, including Disney, 20th Century Fox Television, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures, and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution.
The plan is to offer streaming movies and TV shows directly to TVs using a broadband connection. The company has created a small piece of hardware it calls a Z-bar, which provides the connection between the TV and the Internet via an Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi. The Z-bar also acts as a receiver for the company's unique remote control, which works a lot like a laser pointer and uses sensing technology to navigate through the content menu on the TV screen.
The ZillionTV service, which is currently being beta tested, will only be offered through an Internet service provider. It will be commercially available starting in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Unlike some other Internet-to-TV services, such as Netflix's movie rental service, ZillionTV does not require a subscription. It also doesn't require users to buy an expensive box, such as Microsoft's Xbox 360, Apple's AppleTV, or even Roku's $99 digital video player. Instead, for a nominal activation fee of less than $50, users will get the Z-bar and remote. And then they will be able to view up to 15,000 titles of TV shows and movies through the service without having to sign up for a monthly subscription.… Read more