Who Says OTT works Over the air Sezmi That’s Who < Broadcast

Not ready to cut the cord to Pay TV service?  There’s a new alternative that will bridge the gap so you don’t lose high quality and quantity of cable programming, while still reducing your monthly budget.

Sezmi was founded with an ambitious goal: to redefine the television experience with the first-ever personal television system. Our management team, with its strong and convergent industry strength, realized that no one was tackling a consumer demand both fundamental and, until now, unaddressed: to provide a true, fully-integrated alternative to expensive and mostly “by-appointment” television.

via About Sezmi.

So what does that mean exactly?  Back in November of 2009, Sezmi was part of the at Future of Television East conference and detailed their service

Sezmi this week is kicking off a customer pilot in Los Angeles of service that provides live feeds of 23 cable networks and 50 local TV channels, video-on-demand, and Web video through its DVR set-tops. The service is delivered through a combination of multicast broadcast spectrum leased from local TV stations and Internet bandwidth.

via Sezmi: ‘We’re the JetBlue’ Of Multichannel Video – 2009-11-19 20:47:40 | Multichannel News.

Web based and video-on-demand content providers, according to Zatz Not Funny, include recognizable names :

Add to that over the air (OTA), DVR capability, and multi-cast cable programming.  The knock on Sezmi so far has been no major, premium networks, but again, you will recognize the names:

  • CNN
  • Discovery
  • USA

How does  sezmi do it?  Good old unused, formerly analog spectrum bought up piece by piece combined with an internet connection.  Take a look at their demo video to watch a very smooth transition from DVR to OTA to internet streaming.  The real magic could be over the air cable channels, really over the top!

Sezmi does have many challenges ahead of it, content partners first and foremost.  Once Sezmi Supreme service has a robust offering, it will be easier to convince viewers to switch to their service.  But Sezmi has a lot of convincing to do, after all, you still need:

  • OTA reception
  • third party internet service
  • buy a Digital Media Player

and of course there is the $25 monthly subscription fee to Sezmi.  Wait,  doesn’t this sound like TiVoOnly limited to LA, since they are apparently on board with the whole idea of free OTA.  Must be greener.  If Sezmi gets traction and grows quickly, TiVo have better get that user interface-lift many have stated is long overdue, because Sezmi‘s is slick.  Otherwise, from current reports, Sezmi and TiVo both appear to have similar multi-room limitations and TiVo one advantage Sezmi can not compete with today.  Brand names:

If the future of DTV is IPTV, freeing up spectrum for cellular and Wi-Max networks, then this is certainly a step in that direction.  But as Engadget stated above, free OTA should be a viable alternative to PayTV.  And one things is undeniable: people like free.  Happy Viewing.

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