IceTV Under Threat From New Zeebox TV App

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Ice TV, the electronic program guide Company who are trying to get a new digital media box off the ground, has a brand new competitor following the launch of the highly popular TV app Zeebox in Australia.

Already launched in the US and the UK, Zeebox displays in-depth information about TV programs viewers are watching. It also allows for direct access via social networks such as Twitter and Facebook with friends and their favourite television personalities.

Users will also be able to have seamless control of subscription TV services in the future.

The brainchild of former EMI executive Ernesto Schmitt and BBC iPlayer CTO Anthony Rose, Zeebox is set to be a real threat to Ice TV who is reliant on set top box manufacturers to deliver an audience for their subscription based electronic program guide.

“Zeebox knows what’s happening on the show you’re watching and opens up that world to you. With search, recommendations, social connectivity and ecommerce functions all built into the one app, it will be Australian’s first truly integrated second-screen experience, making TV even better,” said zeebox Australia CEO, Craig Blair.


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Zeebox claim the user experience is seamless with users able to fire up zeebox to see instantly what’s on TV, what’s buzzing and what the celebrities or your friends are watching. 

Click on a show and your media player automatically jumps to that channel.  If you pick up your traditional remote and change the channel, Zzeebox detects it instantly and prompts you to switch zeebox to the corresponding show page.  With one click you’re at the heart of the social buzz around the show, with a wealth of additional information, interactivity and commerce at your fingertips.

 

“We believe seamless remote control is one of those killer features – integrated with our content, almost invisible, but completely embedded with the consumer experience,” said Anthony Rose, co-founder and CTO of zeebox, “The coming months will see zeebox enabling seamless remote control for a range of connected TVs and set-top boxes in every region where our app is available, including Australia.” He said.

Local CEO Craig Blair claims zeebox allows broadcast networks to extend the TV experience by sharing engaging and relevant content directly with the viewer.

“Imagine watching a programme and on your mobile or tablet, receiving synchronised trivia on the cast, only the most relevant Twitter feeds on live shows, an invitation from a celebrity to join a group chat, up-to-date statistics on big sports games, or being able to directly purchase a product seen on screen. All that is now possible with zeebox.”


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Colin O’Brian, the CEO of IceTV, who three years ago won a copyright fight with Channel Nine, claims that he was not available to comment about Zeebox. Last month O’Brian claimed several national retailers were set to start selling a new digital media centre box that aggregates content; however, the retailers nominated by O’Brian claim that they have not heard of a new IceTV box.

Zeebox allows consumers to discover what to watch by browsing comprehensive TV listings, social media and personalised recommendations while getting real-time contextual information about each programme.

At this stage it is not known how Zeebox generates revenue from the application.

 

In the UK millions of Sky subscribers can now use the Zeebox TV guide on their Android smartphones as a seamless remote control, and benefit from Zeebox’s automatic recognition of which channel they’re watching.

Zeebox said that two-way remote control represents the next phase of integration between TV and the second-screen, enabling a range of new, interactive, timely consumer experiences. By acting both as a remote control and a channel detector, zeebox further automates the delivery of contextually relevant content (and commerce) to consumers whilst they watch TV, whether they are using their traditional remote control or the Zeebox app to change channels.
 
Since launching in 2011, zeebox has become the market-leading TV companion app.

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