Michael Ramsay and Jim Barton, the folks who co-founded TiVo 15 years ago, on Tuesday launched a consumer entertainment solution for online video viewing. Dubbed Qplay, the product combines a streaming device and an iPad app that lets you stream playlists of online video to your TV, and share them with your friends. They also launched an early adopter program during which the Qplay device is available for $49.
Queues, or Qs, as the company likes to call them, form the basis of the Qplay system. They are ready-made playlists that are auto updated with new videos from around the web. Each queue focuses on different category of videos including comedy, news, sports, "what's new", "trending", and more. While users can create and share their custom queues, they can also follow others' personal queues.
Qplay provides a lean-back, TV-like experience, as queues play non stop.
The Qplay TV adaptor is about the size of a deck of cards and is controlled by an iPad app. Like Google’s Chromecast, video playback is started from the cloud, making it possible to continue video streaming even if the iPad is being used for any other purpose or is turned off.
While Qplay currently does not support premium videos from services like Netflix and Hulu Plus, Ramsay said that both will come to the service "soon". Besides the $49 adaptor, the service is currently free, although the company says it might start charging for it in future.