Legal or not, a new service named NimbleTV plans to let users stream TV subscriptions online -- with or without the distributor’s permission.
Backed by Greycroft Partners and Tribeca Venture Partners, as well as the Tribune Company, NimbleTV is “offering an online TV platform that allows a customer of a paid TV subscription plan to get their content streamed to them wherever they are,” GigaOm writes.
Having just entered beta tests, The New York Times suggests that NimbleTV “could hasten the slow pace of so-called TV Everywhere” -- if cable companies and distributors don’t pull the plug first.
Along with allowing for thousands of hours of TV recording via virtual DVR, “the service takes the package of television channels that a customer buys through a distributor like Dish Network, then streams the package onto the Web, allowing the customer more options for viewing than most distributors now allow,” NYT reports.
Put another way, “it picks up where Slingbox left off,” said Jason Hirschhorn, a former executive at the maker of the Slingbox, Sling Media, who is now an adviser to Greycroft, and a supporter of NimbleTV.
According to Hirschhorn, planning for the service “took into account a lot of industry issues,” and he added that it “doesn’t economically harm anyone.”
Yet, referring to NimbleTV and a similar service named Aereo, Dan Rayburn, principal analyst for digital media at Frost & Sullivan, tells NYT that entrenched distributors are most likely “still going to come after them.” If for no other reason: “Guys like Aereo and Nimble can’t afford the legal fight,” according to Rayburn.
“One question about this new bid to give TV junkies an easy, anytime fix is will they be sued like Aereo?” BetaBeat asks.
“Earlier this year we reported quite a bit on Aereo, a New York startup that offers customers the ability to watch network TV (the free stuff you get over rabbit ears) on any internet connected device,” VentureBeat recalls. “They are now embroiled in a court battle with the big networks.”