Technology

Times Internet launches BoxTV

NEW DELHI: Times Internet Limited has launched BoxTV as a new technology which is something between IPTV and YouTube.


Based entirely on a library of content which can be accessed by the subscriber, BoxTV will have over 2000 television episodes of popular series. To make this content attractive, BoxTV has also build software around each of these films which can help the subscriber to choose and see only action sequences, songs, comedy scenes, and background of the filmmakers or actors.


BoxTV will be accessible via iPhone, iPad and Android devices and even popular TV-connected platforms such as Roku (which will allow users to view the content, whenever they travel).


Times Internet Ltd CEO Satyan Gajwani told indiantelevision.com that BoxTV is a product with a user-centric design approach, backed by a large content bank with anytime-anywhere access for subscribers.
While refusing to give exact figures, he said that anything between Rs 100 to 500 million had gone into investment to set up the system. Since the system is not dependent on internet service providers, there is no fee to be shared with them. This was not the case in IPTV which was computer-centric.


However, several million dollars had been spent to buy software from 30 to 40 partners such as Sony, Shemaroo, NTV, Zoom, Lehrein, Rajshri Pictures, Contentino and One Take Media.


Gajwani said that Zoom may create special software for BoxTV since it belonged to the Times Group.


General Manager (Marketing) Gurbir Singh said BoxTV is purely invitation-based. He said publicity will initially be word of mouth but he hoped it will go on all platforms soon.


General Manager (Digital Video Initiatives) Pandurang Nayak said the service will initially be free. However, subscribers who register could take on premium service which will provide more software by paying Rs 499 per month in India (initiative price Rs 199), $ 9.99 (invitation price $ 4.99) in the United States, and 9.99 pounds sterling (4.99 pounds sterling) in the United Kingdom.


Gajwani admitted that he expected the initial response to come from overseas, including non-resident Indians. The metadata about each film that includes background, sequence wise viewing and so on would prove very attractive. The system also had a parental control built in so that it could not be accessed by children without a password.


While there is no interactivity with the TIL, the site will also have features where a subscriber will know what his friends are watching and their comments.


Gajwani said that 90 per cent of the software will initially be free. Answering a question, he said the advertising will be relevant and not intrusive to the subscriber.


BoxTV.com has a ‘freemium model’, which means that a part of the content will be available on an ad-supported free-to-user basis, and the rest will be available on a monthly subscription basis. BoxTV had put up an invite-register page in February this year and in August they launched an invite-only alpha preview of the product. Since then it claims to have accrued more than 50,000 invite requests.


The BoxTV player has been designed and built from scratch with unique features for a ‘lean back’ experience with three different modes - normal, wide and full screen for viewing content. Its most popular feature is the lights-off feature that gives users optimal viewing opportunity for high-quality videos. It also has an auto-bandwidth optimiser for working well on low or inconsistent bandwidths for optimal viewing while a user is on the move. What sets BoxTV apart from competitors is that it is the only site that focuses on getting international (Hollywood) content to Indian users and takes Indian content (both mainstream Bollywood and regional content) to Indians living worldwide and in India.

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