BNI Video Reveals Software That Could Better Enable Cable Companies to Compete With Internet Video Providers
With so many options for finding, managing, and viewing video available today, from Netflix to Hulu to Boxee, the traditional cable TV interface is starting to look a little old-fashioned. Boxborough-MA-based BNI Video says it has software that could help cable operators out of that bind.
Cable companies have become increasingly sophisticated in the types of and volume of content that they offer to subscribers, but have lagged in the options they offer for browsing and managing that content, says BNI CEO Conrad Clemson.
“It’s like these guys have brought knives to a gun fight,” he says, explaining that cable companies mostly rely on the traditional set-top box that has evolved little in 20 years, still requiring consumers to clumsily scroll through channels despite the increasing volume of stations, OnDemand TV shows and videos, and consumer-recorded content.
“In our view Comcast has a much richer, better, deeper content library than something like Hulu, but if you cant find it, it doesn’t matter,” Clemson says.
BNI has developed cloud-based software, called a video control plane, which manages how the cable content is organized on the operators’ back end, and would allow TV-watchers to search through their cable-based media much in the way Netflix and Hulu enable viewers to navigate their content with different search and menu functions. The system also includes a content router that creates an open standards environment for cable companies, enabling them to work with different networking technologies, as well as analytics for the cable providers to track how the video content is being consumed.
BNI’s software also allows consumers to search and manage their cable-based content on their other Internet connected devices, such as laptops, iPads, and smartphones. The company ultimately wants to help cable companies offer actual programming via these devices.
Started in 2009, BNI has raised nearly $17 million, with a $6.8 million Series A round in June of that year from Charles River Ventures, Comcast Interactive Capital, and Cisco Systems. Time Warner Cable and Castile Ventures joined those existing investors for a $10 million Series B round in July of this year, Clemson says.
We had been following the startup while the company was still in stealth mode and … Next Page »