TVBLOB Aims to Make TV as Open as the Web with the First BLOBbox from Telsey

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Oozing BitTorrent, YouTube, podcasting, streaming video, Digital Terrestrial broadcasting, and HD PVR, the Telsey BLOBbox delivers on the promise of the whole Web perfectly suited for high-definition televisions, and offers a free SDK so anyone can build new over-the-top TV services

HANNOVER, Germany — At CeBIT tomorrow TVBLOB™ and Telsey® (Hall 13, Stand C68) will officially launch the first BLOBbox™, a set-top box with advanced software able to harness all of the content available on the Web, without any filtering or pre-selection by a third party.

For starters, the Telsey BLOBbox, besides being an HD PVR for free Digital Terrestrial TV, lets you browse YouTube™ and Picasa™, do Google™ mail or watch online television. You can subscribe to podcasts, search and download BitTorrent feeds to view video in 1080p on an HDTV, and copy or stream media files from a home PC or local network. For the first time, Web 2.0 social networking is integrated, including services like Facebook, TV-to-TV socializing and virtual couch sharing. Most importantly, you control everything via your television and remote control.

“People want to choose what they watch and when, but so far this experience has really been limited to the PC. BLOBbox offers the freedom to watch nearly anything that you can download from the Internet, but with a true, HDTV experience and remote control,” says TVBLOB CEO Fabrizio Caffarelli. “The possibilities are as unlimited as surfing the Web.”

TVBLOB, which designs the software for the set-top box, will license the platform to OEM and ODM to create more branded devices for sale around the world. In this first collaboration, Telsey was quickly able to provide an IPTV set-top box to run TVBLOB’s more advanced software platform.

“We are glad that TVBLOB has chosen Telsey as a first class, high performance set-top box provider to meet their advanced software requirements,” explains Riccardo Costacurta, Telsey R&D Manager. “We wanted to excel at Internet TV, but recognized that we did not want to chase and manage content deals. TVBLOB enables everyone to do what they do best, be it hardware or services.”

“It’s really the software that makes it a BLOBbox,” adds Caffarelli. “An upcoming software release, for instance, will allow a user watching a wedding party video in Italy to send it in HD quality to a friend in America, all the while chatting live about the event through picture-in-picture. This is just another example of what the software platform allows given the appropriate hardware components in the box.”

The BLOBbox software is based on Linux, Java, Ajax and open Web technologies. It features a full-featured browser, as well as backend services for single sign-on, advertising, financial transactions, social interaction and more.

“The Web is the success that it is because of open and participatory values,” Caffarelli asserts. “We have replicated these ideas, but adapted them for television. Essentially, anyone can become the next Mark Zuckerberg and invent a killer app for TV.”

To that end, the company has released a free, open source SDK available on the online TV Developers Community, BLOBforge, that permits developers to create their own television applications and invent new services for TV, while using HTML and Ajax. It includes the ability to operate the hardware and middleware directly, controlling the built-in tuner, remote control, podcast and BitTorrent engines. In other words, providers gain full control of such hardware features, just as if it were their own set-top box.

Starting today, the Telsey BLOBbox is available for purchase from TecnologieCreative. It requires a standard television with analog or HDMI input and a broadband connection.