Hillcrest's Kylo browser brings Web content to TVs

Add one more player to the increasingly crowded field of companies looking to take advantage of the push to get Web-based content onto televisions in the living room. Hillcrest Labs today is announcing Kylo, a Mozilla-based web browser designed to make navigating the Web as easy on a TV as it is on a computer.

"No matter how hard they try, no single set-top-box manufacturer, specialized TV widget developer, or content aggregator can match the volume of online viewing choices available on a computer," said Dan Simpkins, founder and CEO of Hillcrest Labs.  "For this reason, many consumers are simply using their new HDTVs as an alternative display for their PCs or Macs. So, we've developed Kylo as a free and simple TV browser that enables them to visit any site on the Web, and makes the entire experience more enjoyable."  

Kylo, which works with Macs and PCs, lets users visit any site on the Web and includes an on-screen keyboard, bookmarks, and allows users to zoom and pan; it was specifically designed to be viewed from a distance in the family room, living room, or dorm room. Hillcrest says Kylo is a true web browser that allows users to surf the Internet as they would on a standard computer.

Hillcrest joins Boxee, Roku, Vudu and a number of other OTT play that are looking to tap into a market that seems poised to explode. More than 9 million homes in the U.S. already hook their computers up to their TVs, and an increasing number of users say they want to be able to. Google last week was rumored to also be entering the fray with an Android-based set top box being developed that would use the Chrome OS.

Hillcrest, meanwhile, likely is hoping its new browser also will help drive buyers to its $99 Loop Pointer, an in-air mouse was named a CES 2010 Innovations Award Honoree.

"With the Loop pointer, we felt that we had the right hardware for consumers, but that was just part of the solution," said Simpkins. "The Kylo browser lets people view any Web site from a distance, use an onscreen keyboard, and benefit from a suite of optimized features for surfing the Web from the couch."

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