TiVo founders scuttle their streaming startup, Qplay

TiVo co-founders Mike Ramsay and Jim Barton have announced that they're shutting down their video streaming startup, Qplay.

"It is with heavy hearts that we announce Qplay will be closing," Qplay marketing director Ashley Martin-Golis wrote in a weekend blog post. "Our last day of service is next Friday, July 25, 2014. We truly enjoyed bringing you the best videos from around the Internet. We had fun building and using Qplay and hope that you did too. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to keep developing and running the service."

Founded in 2012, Qplay emerged from stealth mode in February 2014, selling an iPad app that let users curate video from various non-subscription online platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, etc. A $49 TV adapter let them port a continuous stream of content into their living room, a la Chromecast, for passive viewing. In fact, Qplay recently embedded Chromecast porting capability into its app, dispensing the need for the adapter.

Ramsay and Barton envisioned their service as transformative one for online video, turning the somewhat interactive task of searching and playing YouTube content into a passive, lean-back living-room experience. But the service was not compatible to the more passive-viewing-oriented online content platforms, such as SVOD services Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Prime Instant Video.

Qplay says customers who purchased the $49 adapter have until July 25 to get their money back. They can apply for a refund at the Qplay website and are encouraged to take the device to the nearest electronics recycler.

For more:
- read this Qplay blog post
- read this Variety story
- read this TechCrunch story

Related links:
TiVo co-founders launch new Qplay streaming service
Parks: Roku owns 44% of the U.S. OTT device market
Google contradicts Parks' Chromecast study, says usage is up