ZillionTV Joins Fast-Moving Market for Web Video

Another startup hopes to partner with Internet providers to deliver Web TV and movies

By + More

Another Internet TV service hit the market today -- ZillionTV. And it seems like the zillionth company promising to deliver movies and shows over broadband connections.

The technology sounds impressive. Los Angeles Times reporter Jon Healey says DVD-quality video started playing seconds after it was selected. ZillionTV also has substantial partners in a number of Hollywood studios and Visa, the credit card company.

ZillionTV plans to use targeted ads to help pay for entertainment, in addition to rentals and purchases. The ads sound similar to Sezmi, another startup that's readying a system to deliver video to the home. Both companies also plan to partner with Internet providers who want to offer a TV option but haven't gotten into the business, as have AT&T and Verizon.

But there are differences between ZillionTV and Sezmi. Sezmi will deliver live TV channels and also store downloaded shows in its box, while ZillionTV will only stream recorded shows from the Internet. There are also differences with other Web video offerings from Boxee, Hulu, Netflix, Roku, Blockbuster, Vudu, XStreamHD and others. Plus, there are cable companies that themselves are getting into the business of offering Internet video.

It seems like a crowded market. On the other hand, this Web TV business could soon explode. It's easy to imagine dozens of providers making a go of it, much like the early days of cable TV, at least for a while.