Sezmi Unveils Next Generation Television Offering

Thursday, May 1st, 2008
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The first complete TV 2.0 offering that seamlessly integrates traditional television with movies and Internet video, optimized for on-demand viewing and is personalized for the viewer

BELMONT, Calif. — Sezmi Corporation (formerly known as Building B, Inc.) today unveiled a next generation television offering that includes many industry firsts. Sezmi also announced that it is commencing trials in pilot markets in preparation for commercial launch with broadband service providers and national retailers later this year.

Sezmi is designed to address fundamental shifts in consumer television viewing behavior and is the first television offering that is:

  • A complete TV 2.0 solution: Sezmi delivers all television content, including broadcast and cable network programming, movies and Internet video, in one simple package, unlike Internet-driven offerings that do not include traditional television.
  • Optimized for on-demand viewing: Sezmi embraces the migration of consumer TV viewing away from appointment-based viewing and gives consumers the flexibility to watch what they want, when they want. Sezmi’s primary user interface organizes content as program lists (e.g., My Top Picks, My Genres, My Channels) that dramatically simplify the browsing and discovery of television content.
  • A seamless integration of live, stored, on-demand and Internet video: Sezmi removes the artificial barriers between content from different sources and provides a single and consistent interface across live, stored, on-demand and Internet video.
  • Personalized and tailored to the individual viewer: The Sezmi remote control has unique buttons for individual members of the household. Each user is presented with a personalized homepage-like screen that organizes a line-up of content that is specifically matched to the user’s routines and preferences.
  • Extending the benefits of social networking to the TV: Sezmi subscribers can share playlists with friends and family, contribute to community ratings of shows and benefit from community recommendations.
  • Designed for self-installation: Sezmi is a simple, out-of-the-box wireless product that provides consumers a high quality television experience in minutes.

“Consumers are waiting for the television industry to catch up and meet their demand for flexible, advanced and personalized features in their television service, just like they’ve come to expect with the Internet, wireless communications and digital media,” said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst with Parks Associates. “With the impending digital transition, the consumer shift to on-demand viewing, high definition, Internet video, and other disruptions, now is the time for a true television alternative to emerge. From what I’ve seen, Sezmi’s differentiated approach, leadership and industry relationships makes it a strong contender to fill this void.”

“Sezmi focused on the television consumer and built an entirely new television offering from the ground up to meet the needs of viewers that want a premium experience at an affordable price,” said Buno Pati, Sezmi co-founder and chief executive officer. “We have rallied support across multiple industries and are excited to work with our partners to offer a new and differentiated TV choice to consumers.”

A Unique Approach to TV 2.0

“To deliver the full range of content that consumers expect at an affordable cost we had to create a network that overcame the limitations of broadband and better aligned with mass market content consumption,” said Phil Wiser, Sezmi co-founder and president. “Our integrated solution seamlessly combines the efficiency and scale of broadcast delivery with the interactivity and access of broadband. As a result, we are able to deliver a next generation television experience to a much larger group of consumers, and we can do it today.”

Sezmi has developed the FlexCast™ video distribution technology that combines terrestrial digital broadcast television with existing broadband infrastructure to cost effectively deliver video content. The system utilizes available capacity in existing digital television broadcast networks and creates a private, secure broadcast transmission for content. The resulting platform provides a breakthrough television experience without the need to upgrade existing broadband infrastructure.

Sezmi has also developed a cutting edge, smart antenna indoor reception system that makes both its private broadcast and existing terrestrial TV broadcasts accessible in an unprecedented manner. This network-attached reception system can be placed in any location in the home and requires no user adjustments.

A Multi-Industry Opportunity

Sezmi is working with leaders in the broadcast, broadband, content and advertising industries to create an entertainment platform that delivers enhanced value and new opportunities as the TV industry navigates through the major disruptions it is facing.

Sezmi affords broadcasters the opportunity to realize significant returns on their digital investments through a proven subscription television business model and targeted advertising. Sezmi has entered into agreements with broadcasters in its initial launch markets.

“Sezmi’s innovative platform enables broadcasters to enhance their core service, while creating new revenue opportunities,” said Colleen B. Brown, President and CEO Fisher Communications. “Advertisers continue to tell us they want this type of measurable targeting to generate greater efficiencies on television and as broadcasters, we need this type of audience intelligence to more effectively connect our viewers with new programs.”

As an end-to-end television service that incorporates an integrated broadcast solution, Sezmi is the ideal triple-play video companion to voice and data services offered by broadband service providers.

“Sezmi creates a unique opportunity for Internet service providers and telecommunications companies looking to offer customers a differentiated triple play with its on-demand, personalized and affordable video service,” said Jeff Gardner, president and CEO of Windstream Communications. “Unlike IPTV, Sezmi’s innovative service utilizes the existing broadband network and does not require a significant capital infrastructure investment.”

Sezmi enables content companies and advertisers to capitalize on current industry disruptions to create new business opportunities. Content providers are able to reach additional viewers, enhance their brands in an on-demand environment and drive higher CPMs through targeted advertising. Sezmi creates a unique opportunity for content companies to engage with viewers and strengthen their brands as consumers migrate towards an increasingly on-demand experience.

“Advertisers are demanding Internet-like efficiency with TV advertising. They want to target the right customer with the right ad, and have accurate data on viewer response,” said Tim Hanlon, Executive Vice President of Denuo Group, a Publicis Company. “Sezmi is a breakthrough service in this area. For the first time, advertisers will know exactly who–whether it’s mom or dad or the kids–watched their commercial. Sezmi will enable improvements in advertising effectiveness and ultimately increases marketing ROI, two important goals in today’s cluttered ad landscape.”

Sezmi has established partnerships with broadcasters, broadband providers and content companies to commence technical trials in preparation for commercial launch across several major U.S. markets later this year.