The Future Could be Friendly for TV Viewers

Dennis Faas's picture

Small Silicone Valley start-up company "Sezmi" plans to give couch potatoes yet another option to watch their favorite shows.

The company hopes to form a growing partnership between many local phone companies and television stations across the United States with this ultimate plan: go behind the backs of the leading cable and satellite systems to offer the most efficient television experience for consumers. (Source:

The evolution of the television as an entertainment medium can perhaps best be described as a blessing and a curse. While viewers now have literally thousands of channels to choose from, cable and satellite companies have cashed in by restricting certain channels to be sold as part of a package or as an "a la carte" feature. To actually see all of the channels available would be one costly endeavor. Channel surfers are only now opening their eyes to the many viable options out there for their viewing pleasure.

The Sezmi option includes a TV set-top box that would receive video content in three separate ways. The first is the traditional "over-the-airwaves" method used by local stations. The second is the fairly recent Internet option in which video content is downloaded through a broadband connection in the home.

The third way is most unusual, as Sezmi plans to have cooperating television stations "clear some of their airwaves" to transmit basic cable channels.

With all the channels currently offered, analysts believe that the remaining spectrum is so thin that a full-running television lineup would be nearly impossible to transmit.

Sezmi has addressed these concerns, stressing that cooperating stations would release their most-watched shows first, with the Sezmi set-top box collecting them and saving them as a hard drive does to document files. The viewer can return later and watch these shows 'on demand'. (Source:

Think of it as a TiVo that automatically saves everything!

Sezmi promises that their viewing option would reduce the cost of cable and satellite bills by up to 50%. If successful, the option could be available towards the end of 2008. (Source:

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