A new digital broadcasting/ cable/broadband programming service, Sezmi, is starting up operation today in parts of Los Angeles.
Sezmi employs unused local digital signals from TV stations to get its service to customers, which include over-the-air TV, cable networks, video-on-demand and Internet video Web sites.
Under partnership with Best Buy, consumers need to buy an all-in-one-box unit for $299 to get to Sezmi. This also includes a special digital indoor antenna.
A monthly programming service is then needed, which is cheaper than a typical cable provider. A basic programming package of 70 networks costs $4.99 a month, while a larger subscription featuring cable channels runs for $19.99.
Sezmi also offers online video destinations such as YouTube on its service. Plus, consumers get a big HD DVR unit with room for around 1,400 hours of programming.
The one big difference with Sezmi versus cable systems is VOD service: Consumers pay for each program offered. Many cable operators offer free VOD programming.
Sezmi says its service is far easier to install; customers can do it themselves. There is no need for a cable-like service technician to install the product or service.
A wider national rollout of Sezmi is expected this spring.