There are a few words that when put together are music to my ears — one of them being “all-in-one.” Startup Sezmi has just landed $25 million in third round funding and is hoping consumers are interested in just that — an all-in-one television service. As more and more companies begin to offer their own set-top boxes, the chances that consumers will bite are good.
Sezmi secured $33 million back in November 2008, equaling near $75 million in funding on its quest to provide a seamless set-top system to challenge both cable and television providers. The funding was provided by new strategic investor Legend Ventures, as well as existing investors Index Ventures, Morgenthaler Ventures, Omni Capital and TD Fund.
Integrating both hardware and software, Sezmi will offer packages that include a set-top box that will receive over-the-air high-definition broadcast programming, as well as a DVR box. Through various undisclosed partnerships, Sezmi will provide free access to basic television channels such as ABC, NBC, Fox and YouTube as well as on-demand movies and television shows from studios such as Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox and Paramount.
The receiver and DVR will be available to purchase or lease from “major retailers” in the next three months, but is being tested in the Los Angeles market as a pilot program. Customers will be able to test the system for free. There are plans to roll the package out to additional markets. The package price is still unknown at this point.
While similar to services like Netflix and Amazon, Sezmi wants to offer multiple content providers and an unique user experience. Sezmi’s user interface focuses on recorded content and can be customized. Similar to a personal computer, the package will have log-in options for each user – allowing your preferences to be saved and launched immediately.