Sezmi unified IPTV & digital over-the-air home media begins pilots

When it comes to breaking into a competitive market, you can either make your product super-niche and fit into a gap, or you can attempt to smash through rivals like a wrecking ball. Startup Sezmi appears to be taking the latter route: they're aiming to replace customers' satellite or cable subscriptions (and the set-top boxes that go with them) with their own, 1TB hard-drive equipped hardware. Blending high-definition digital broadcast TV and broadband-based video-on-demand, Sezmi has partnered with Harris Corp and Sun and is rolling out the system in pilot areas.

The idea is that the multiple sources are all handled by a single box and presented as a unified menu. Content is either downloaded or streamed over the broadband or grabbed as over-the-air TV in locale-specific deals using broadcasters' spare spectrum. Sezmi are yet to announce which content providers they've signed up.

There's even the option to have five different personalized setups, chosen by different power buttons on the remote. It all seems a little mad, perhaps, but it's enough to get a confirmed $17.5m in funding and a further "undisclosed" sum. Pricing varies according to who you listen to – some say half what people are used to paying now, others say it will be roughly parallel.

[via CrunchGear]