Aeros may have folded, but another company is offering a better and legal service.
The VCR has been considered obsolete for a while now. Digital recording has replaced video cameras. And new services from cable and satellite providers and independent companies such as Tivo allow people to record whatever they want. Subscribers can watch one broadcast while recording another and even pause or rewind programs, such as sports, during live broadcasts while they continue to record the event. But such services are expensive.
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Now the Israeli company VBox Communications is offering an inexpensive alternative to Tivo and DVRs. Under the tag line “Where Digital Broadcast and New Media Converge, ” VBox asserts that it’s Innovative, end-to-end firmware, software, and hardware solutions empower broadcast providers, telcos, and integrators to harness the converged power of digital broadcast and new media – growing revenues, streamlining operations, and delivering a better end user experience.
The products from VBox bring streaming live TV and web-based digital content to any device on the home network, such as laptops, tablets and smart phones, while maintaining full content protection, and seamlessly integrating existing infrastructure. Its main product is called the TV Gateway. The company allows users to watch live and recorded full HD broadcast quality television while forgoing expensive service fees.
By connecting a satellite, cable or DTT antenna feed to the TV Gateway and a wireless router, all content is converged. It is then turned to IPTV, and streamed through the home wireless network to all connected devices. Content is distributed to standard TVs, IP set-top boxes, PCs, Internet-connected TVs, tablets, and other devices via standard home or enterprise network gateways. Amir Aharonovich, Vice President of Marketing at VBox, told Jewish Business News, ”We try to change how TV is distributed within the household by converting broadcasts to an IP at a customer’s home, in a way competing with Tivo, but our solution is open meaning you can connect any network device with a screen to your TV gateway and watch it, also we are like a home TV router similar to an internet router. We are a whole house DVR. You can access our app program guide from any mobile device and even an internet browser.”
Tivo and DVRs are limited to their boxes and do not offer any wireless connectivity.
For home, enterprise, and retail usage, VBox enables cost-effective delivery of converged content experience, encompassing traditional Free2Air broadcast, pay TV, new media, OTT (Over the Top), streaming live broadcasts, and other content, and enabling integration of custom and advertising content.
This differs sharply from the recently disbanded Aero. That company was forced to cease operations because the U.S. Supreme Court found that it violated the copyrights of American broadcast networks by re-transmitting their programming without permission. While VBox does provide a similar service, it does not actually broadcast anything itself, but merely provides its customers with the technology to do what they want with content that they have already paid for with cable or satellite subscriptions.
As Amir Aharonovich explained, “What Aero did was they built a cloud service which took all of the free television broadcasts and converted them to IP on their service and rebroadcast it for their customers. While they had an antenna dedicated to each customer they rebroadcast the signal which was illegal. We just allow each of our customers to do that for himself in his own home.”
Founded in 2001, VBox Communications is headquartered in Herzlya, Israel. Its solutions are deployed in top-tier broadcast providers and enterprises worldwide. The company is privately owned by Shlomo Turjeman and Optibase and has no plans for now to go public.