Santa Clara, Calif. — Start-up 4SeTV(Four Screen Enhanced TV) plans July availability of a device that lets a networked TV display up to four over-the-air TV channels at a time.
The eponymously named 4SeTV device also streams up to four over-air TV channels to up to four Wi-Fi-connected mobile devices at a time.
It’s available for pre-order on Kickstarter at $99 for early adopters and will retail at $179 for others. 4SeTV will ship to early adopters beginning in August and to others in September.
The company plans distribution through online retailers after launching on Kickstarter and is considering distribution through brick-and-mortar retailer s, said founder Hyung Lim, a 20-year tech veteran who worked at Broadcom, Altera and Digital Multimedia Technology.
Targeted in large part to sports fans, the device incorporates four ATSC digital-TV tuners. It connects to a digital TV antenna and, via Ethernet cable, to a home’s router. The TV channels are then scaled and re-encoded over the home network as a single stream so that all streams can be displayed simultaneously on a network-connected TV. TVs that lack network capability can be outfitted with a Google Chromecast Wi-Fi device to display content.
Channels are selected from the company’s 4SeTV app running on an Android or iOS mobile device.
In addition, one user can monitor all four streams simultaneously on a mobile device and then cast one channel to the networked TV to watch the big play. The device also lets four separate tablets or smartphones display different channels in full-screen mode. Any configuration of up to four devices, including a TV, could display a different channel, the company noted.
A future release will enable the display of two or three channels at a time on one screen.
For now, PCs and Macs stream one channel at a time, but four-screen mode will come to those devices when it develops support for browsers, a spokesman said.
When one channel is displayed, video is 1080p, but when four channels are displayed simultaneously, each chain’s resolution is a quarter of 1080p resolution.