Net2TV Brings Web-based TV-like Shows to Smart TVs
-Web Content Presented in 30-minutes Shows
-‘Programming An Art, Not An Algorithm’
The borders that define TV content and Web content are getting
fuzzier by the day.
Net2TV is a start-up that distributes free, ad-supported
content to Internet-connected TVs through a video portal
called Portico TV. It offers non-exclusive Web content,
grouped into channel-like topics, to smart TVs.It isn’t
available on any other connected devices, and not through a
browser, either. Instead, Portico is designed specifically for
the smart TV platform.
“We’re building television programming that lets viewers enjoy
smart TV just like they do traditional television,” CEO Thomas
Morgan said at the company’s launch.
Portico Specializes in Programming Web Content
Portico TV stands out among other content aggregating portals
by its attention to content and programming. “It’s very much
like what people have come to expect from a television,” SVP
of programming Jim Monroe told The Online Reporter.
Net2TV’s mantra is “Programming is an art, not an algorithm.”
The value added comes through in the company’s focus
programming content that is usually not “programmed” together.
The Internet is a large pool of quality content and amateur
stuff, and Monroe said that’s both a good and bad thing. “Much
like the Internet opens up access to consumers, it’s doing the
same thing for television programming,” Monroe said. “The good
side is that creative, quality producers have a chance to show
what they can do.”
The other side of that coin is that there is a lot of less-
than-quality content out there. “That’s one of the areas we
can help out, by manually curating and hand selecting content
and using people to do it,” Monroe said. “It really has to be
a person selecting programming for another person.”
Portico content is updated daily, grouped by topics such as
news and entertainment, technology and food. Discovery
Communications and CBS Interactive, Popular Science and Wall
Street Journal have agreed to supply content to Net2TV so far.
It offers free access to CBS’s food site Chow.com, Discovery’s
Internet video producer Revision3, and full-length programs
from Popular Science.
Net2TV takes Web content from its content partners and edits
that content into shows that follow a traditional TV show
format – 30 minutes or longer. “Even when we work with short
Web clips, we organize it into a long form show,” Monroe said.
“It’s a viewing experience truly designed for the living
Each show is a minimum of 30 minutes, Monroe said. Portico
creates something of a program schedule for each channel. Each
channel “airs” a number of shows, one right after the other.
“Start watching one of the tech programs, there’s another one
on afterwards,” Monroe said.
The content isn’t exclusive to the Portico app, but Monroe
said Portico’s programming format gives viewers a fresh way of
watching the content. “It is not presented in this same form
any other place,” he said. “While the material is not
exclusive, the viewing experience is unique to Portico.”
The content is mostly non-scripted informational content.
Monroe said that though that’s what available on Portico now,
Net2TV is looking to expand into scripted content like dramas
and comedies. “We are adding on a program partner that has
very much scripted, long form programming,” Monroe said,
adding that the announcement will come sometime in the Q1
The Portico app accesses a cloud based-system, which organizes
video by theme. Users can move through the selection of
programming, sample a program and then select it to watch it
full screen. The company uses ActiveVideo Network’s cloud
technology, and is in fact funded by Gary Lauder, chairman of
Net2TV is also looking to expand to other smart TV platforms,
though Monroe wouldn’t name any. “We’re in discussion with
several smart TV platforms providers now,” he said, and
expects to be able to make announcements next year.
Net2TV’s Execs Know A Whole Lot About Living Room TV
Net2TV is filled with execs who have experience in living room
entertainment. Net2TV’s CEO is Tom Morgan, who formerly worked
with MTV and Nickelodeon, and was the CEO of ad-insertion
company BlackArrow. Monroe, SVP of programming at Net2TV, held
executive positions at both NBC and TiVo; Chief technology
officer at Net2TV, Spencer Shanson, is a former Netflix
executive; Henry Choy serves as VP of business development at
Net2TV is a former VP at ActiveVideo.
The company will certainly be putting that collective
experience to good use, as it tries to gain more content
partners, platform partners, and advertisers. Net2TV is
walking somewhat of a thin line between traditional media and
OTT. Two of its content partners, CBS and Discovery, are
stakeholders in the traditional TV model. “They’re finding a
way to work in the online space with us and with others like
us,” he said. “Media companies are finding ways to experiment,
try new program types and new talent.
Monroe said Net2TV’s Portico TV app is a complement to
traditional TV, not a direct competitor. “The traditional
networks have their established distribution systems that are
very lucrative for all people involved,” he said. “I don’t
think that’s going to change anytime soon and I don’t think
they need to. I think there is plenty of opportunity for new
program producers to show what they can do and find an
1. Liberty Media, not Viacom owns Starz, as we erroneously
reported last week.
2. Movie kiosk company Digiboo offers downloads to USB sticks
or connected devices from its kiosks, contrary to our fuzzy
headline last week. It is not an OTT service that streams or
downloads content over the Net to viewing devices in homes.
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New Broadband Technologies for Old Copper Telephone Wires
– More Choices than All-Fiber Networks
New copper wire technologies are being developed that will
allow the world’s telcos to offer DOCSIS- and fiber-like
speeds over their existing copper wire connections to the
residence, saving or at least postponing billions in fiber
A few years ago it looked as if the telcos would have to build
all fiber networks to the home to get past the 40-40 Mbps
speeds barrier. Now, they have multiple choices in using their
existing networks to offer faster speeds.
This report is an overview of the various copper telephone
wire-based broadband technologies being developed by telcos,
makers of chips and telecoms equipment, plus DSL software
developers. As a result of these new technologies, many telcos
are now questioning whether they need to deploy all-fiber
networks at the present time.
The reports are from recent issues of The Online Reporter.
Most are based on interviews with management at the companies
that are involved in the development of the new technologies:
VDSL2 Vectoring, DSM, FTTdp and DSL Rings. Subsequent reports
on the matter that appear in The Online Reporter will be sent
monthly to purchasers of this report at no additional cost.
The price for a single reader is $995 for non-subscribers.
Subscribers to The Online Reporter get a 40% discount for
their existing readers. Multi-reader discounts are available.
Purchase at http://onlinereporter.com/research-reports
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