Akimbo Showcase Internet-toTV VOD Service, Make Deal With TBS

Still can’t find anything worth watching on TV? Akimbo have demoed their internet-to-TV video-on-demand service at the Digital Hollywook show in California this week.

The service is planned to launch in October, and will deliver thousands of hours of video content to a set-top box, the Akimbo Player via subscribers’ broadband connections.

The Akimbo system uses a “Que and View” interface and dedicated remote control to allow users to select programmes that they wish to see – for delivery to them for later viewing.

The Akimbo player holds about 200 hours of video at 1.5 megabits per second, and two of the key advantages are that it doesn’t tie up subscribers’ PCs, nor do they have to watch programmes on a monitor — they can cosy up in their front room. The service will launch at US$9.99 (€8.10) a month, and will include films, music, sports, comedy and drama content amongst others.

Akimbo, founded and managed by execs from ReplayTV, Macromedia, Microsoft and Apple, has also signed a deal with Turner Broadcasting Systems to license thousands of hours of content from CNN, Cartoon Network, TCM and Boomerang.

Kevin Cohen, senior vice president and general manager, interactive/enhanced television for TBS said in a statement: “We are pleased to work with Akimbo and are looking forward to learning how consumers respond to this new subscription on-demand technology.”


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?