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CES 2012: ZappoTV Announces Android App

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Shodogg isn’t the only company at CES trying to bridge mobile devices and TVs (see our related story): ZappoTV, which already offers Apple iPhone and iPad apps, yesterday released what it calls a beta version Android app.

ZappoTV’s apps work with DLNA-compliant TVs and connected devices, and, unlike Shodogg, involve no setup. Instead, the apps scan the local network at startup and automatically discover compliant hardware. The apps then work as remote controls, allowing users to send video their TVs, and pause playback. Unlike Shodogg’s solution, ZappoTV won’t remember a viewer’s place if he or she interrupts a viewing session.

ZappoTV

Two-year-old ZappoTV was originally created to market set-top boxes. When that didn’t pan out, it changed course to create a boxless experience. Supported devices include the Apple TV; LG, Sony, and Samsung smart TVs; WD set-top boxes, and Popcorn Hour. ZappoTV will also support DLNA-compliant speakers for streaming audio.

Users can stream their own media content to their TVs, as well as YouTube videos and music from online radio stations. Social features let users share their thoughts with friends and followers while watching a video. They can even browse for other content while watching. A clever slideshow feature lets users create slideshows from their pics, then add a soundtrack. Soon, users will be able to share their slideshows over Facebook.

ZappoTV’s user base in is the six-figures now, says Neal Blaak, the company’s CMO and founder. When that number grows to the 3 to 5 million range, he hopes to attract premium content partners. Before then, there are plenty of lower-tier online content creators to work with, he notes, companies eager to provides a living room solution without the hassle of creating a variety of platform-specific apps. ZappoTV supports pre-, mid-, or post-roll ads for revenue creation.

ZappoTV is self-funded so far. Blaak hopes to attract angel or venture capital funding in the next six months.

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