There are already plenty of set top boxes that bring streaming services into a viewer\’s living room, such as the Roku, Boxee, Apple TV, along with rumored devices in the works from Amazon and Microsoft. None of these incorporate cable like the Slingbox, but even that\’s just one more device added to the list that users need to get the TV experience they want. The makers of FanTV want to change the cluttered landscape of streaming devices by creating a set top box that does everything the others do, but also plays nice with cable.
The company is already known for its app, Fanhattan, which helps users find new content to watch and shows them every service where a program is available to stream or download. FanTV will incorporate this technology into live TV while also giving users a tablet-esque experience right on their HDTV. FanTV will also come with a remote that is more like a track pad and will utilize swiping gestures to navigate the service on-screen, without any buttons.
FanTV won’t be the end of cable, something plenty of people have already ditched, but the hope is that the device will compliment the user’s existing cable service. Unlike other set top boxes, the device will allow users to search and watch content via their streaming services or live TV. If anything, the device has the potential to bring subscribers back to cable, by offering packages that will combine all of a user’s favorite services.
There is no word yet on availability but the company hopes to release the device by the end of this year. Pricing structures have not been announced but it is reported that cable companies will subsidize the cost of the device alongside service plans.