CastTV develops advanced video search

Updated

casttv.bmpSan Francisco company CastTV has developed a new technology for video searching online, the latest in a wave of start-ups serving the red-hot video industry.

Techcrunch has a good review of the company. CastTV is similar to Truveo, another start-up bought by AOL earlier this year after a year of operation. Like Truveo, CastTV searches for video information in ways that the traditional search engines haven’t • by creating a more sophisticated crawler that can dig behind flash, javascript and media-player plugins that stymie other crawlers. It then searches for all kinds of “meta” data that describe any video file it finds, including information from surrounding text. It then searches the Web again for similar looking data, and adds that to its database for that video too, if looks like a match. Here is more from Alex’s blog.

So, if you search on Yahoo Video for Grey’s Anatomy, you will find no results of the actual show, even though there’s a full free version available at ABC.com

The company was launched by husband and wife Edwin Ong and Alex Vikati, who have done the core work. They’ve outsourced non-core work to overseas contractors, numbering less than ten in all. The couple met at Stanford, built a company called Filefish in 1999 and sold it to Oracle in the sluggish year of 2003. Even then, they made enough money for them to self-fund CastTV thus far, Vikati said.

They’re not looking to raise cash anytime soon, Vikati told us, because they’re more focused on getting revenue from licensing the technology to Internet and traditional media companies. CastTV will launch its own destination site this fall, which will be ad-supported.

CastTV also indexes videos from fee-based services like iTunes. So if you enter Grey’s Anatomy on CastTV’s engine, you will get both the ABC.com site, which is ad-supported and free, and the iTunes version prompting you to pay $1.99.

CastTV is part of Broad Holdings LLC, which is owned by the couple.