Second screen TV service Fanhattan has forged a deal with cable TV and Internet service provider Cox to bring its new Fan TV set-top box to subscribers in southern California, the company confirmed to VentureBeat yesterday.
Fanhattan first launched as a service that provided a universal guide for video programming across a variety of popular streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others. The company surprised cord cutters back in May when it announced plans to launch its own set-top box, Fan TV, which would provide access to all of these services in conjunction with cable or satellite TV programming. And unlike other set-top boxes on the market, you can only get Fan TV through your local cable provider. The device itself will replace the lackluster cable boxes that cable TV providers currently rent out to their subscribers.
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The partnership will use Cox’s cloud-based TV programming and DVR service flareWatch, which is available to Cox’s broadband Internet subscribers in Orange County, Calif. The service offers access to 97 live channels and 30 hours DVR storage.
“Cox is running a limited trial in Orange County using an early version of Fan TV — focused primarily on live TV and DVR,” Fanhattan CEO Gilles BianRosa said in a statement to VentureBeat. “Making sure [Fan TV is] ready for primetime requires rigorous testing, trial customer feedback and constant iteration. This limited trial is a small, early step in that direction.”
While Cox is the first cable TV provider to begin offering the Fan TV device to customers, Fanhattan hopes to bring it to all local pay TV providers in the future, such as Comcast, AT&T Uverse, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, and others.
We haven’t had a chance to play with the device, but the Fan TV demo BianRosa gave me back in May was very impressive. The device consists of two separate pieces: a streaming unit and a smaller touch-control remote that’s used to navigate through the device’s software. And as for the software, you’re essentially able to switch between DVR/recorded programming, live channels, and a ton of streaming video apps (Netflix, Hulu, etc.).
Via Variety; Image via Fanhattan