ZeeVee's Free Zviewer™ Internet Video Browser for the Big ScreenMonday, November 3rd, 2008
Browser-based app finds and plays any Internet or PC video in lean-back living room style; Mozilla-based system currently in limited beta program
LITTLETON, Mass. — Internet video enthusiasts now have a powerful springboard to the vast and rapidly expanding universe of online video content thanks to ZeeVee’s new Zviewer software — available as a free download in a limited beta starting today. While the Internet is emerging as the ultimate video on demand service, it has lacked a simple, consistent way to access the many sites for high-quality movies and shows without having to open a plethora of browser windows, each having a different user experience. These websites are generally designed for mouse interaction and up-close viewing at a computer — hardly an experience suited for viewing in the comfort of the living room.
Zviewer changes all of that. Lean-back interface to the entire web.
Zviewer’s simple, highly visual graphical interface enables browsing of videos from various websites through a single browser, all from the comfort of the couch. Zviewer can take you anywhere on the web, or to the content and applications that you have on your computer, providing practically unlimited video on demand. Users with Microsoft Media Center-compatible remote controls will gain TV-like remote navigation using Zviewer, and functions like Play and Pause will work natively on popular websites such as Hulu. ZeeVee’s ZvRemote™ includes additional features such as a Full Screen button, on- screen keyboard for text input, and complete mouse control via a touchpad — allowing you to operate any website or desktop application from the couch.
“There really has been no way to browse all of the video available on the Internet or on your computer in the comfort of the living room until now,” said ZeeVee Co-founder and CEO Vic Odryna.
Zviewer also lets users select what content they are interested in, and be kept up-to-date about any new additions. A “ZvPresents™” feature automatically discovers and presents some of the most interesting video on the web today. Thousands of shows and movies are available for either instant viewing, or tagged for future interest. For example, Comedy Central’s Daily Show can be added to a personalized MyZv™ channel — almost like bookmarking it. Unlike static bookmarks, Zviewer — through RSS — will watch for new episodes of that content and add it to MyZv when they become available.
Getting the video to the Big Screen
But how do you get computer video to the big screen in the living room? In a smaller setting, the display of the laptop or monitor may be large enough — simply sit back and enjoy. Many HDTVs have VGA inputs, allowing for a direct connection with an inexpensive cable. In a home where the computer is not in the living room or where there may be multiple HDTVs in different rooms, ZeeVee’s revolutionary ZvBox™ transforms the computer’s video output into a new HDTV channel that can be received on every HDTV in the home, without needing any new boxes at each TV.
Open, user extensible content and technology
Zviewer is designed as an open platform, built on Mozilla technology and delivered as a Firefox extension. In this initial release, content from specific websites is integrated by ZeeVee’s developers, and is kept fresh with RSS feeds. Websites not integrated by ZeeVee can still be bookmarked, but the video content on those sites will not be available in a visual “tile” format. In the near future, website owners will be able to create their own plug-ins, making it very simple to deliver a lean-back experience to their video content without needing to redesign their websites. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Seeking beta users to help improve the experience
ZeeVee is seeking to develop a community of people interested in consuming Internet video on the big screen — through an open platform that can be easily personalized to their interests and tastes. The company has a list of ideas for future improvements, but would like to have user guidance for the most important features to add next. Visit http://www.zeevee.com/products/zviewer to apply for the beta program and join the community.