It's been nearly a year since Fan TV told us about its plan to to revolutionize the way we watch live TV with a set-top-box. Today, Time Warner customers become the first to get access to the platform. It turns out that making your cable work better comes at a hefty price.
The interface your cable provider came up with totally sucks, and Fan TV thinks it can make it better with a smart UI that integrates live TV with over-the-top apps like Netflix and Hulu. The Fan TV box is a straight-up replacement for your cable box that is controlled by a Magic Mouse-like remote with no buttons. You navigate the on-screen UI with intuitive tap and swipe gestures.
The idea is to put content first. Rather than picking the service you want to use and only then deciding what you want to watch, the Fan TV system guides you to the right service depending on what you want. For example, you can search for "Robert De Niro" and it'll tell you across both cable and your apps what's available.
The concept was elegant but unfortunately, it was just an idea. Today, it because a reality, albeit, a bit of a grounded one. If you've got TWC you can pre-order Fan TV now for $100. If you wait until the box ships in June it'll cost you $150. That's a lot to pay to make your cable work better, although, if you're already paying a box rental fee it basically pays for itself in a year at the $100 pre-order price.
What's more, the box only ships with support for lame apps like Crackle right now. That's hardly the Hulu and Netflix that Fan TV will need to be competitive with dope, cheaper products like Roku and Amazon's Fire TV. In the short term, I fear that $150 is way too much to charge for the product, but the idea of fixing cable with a new interface? That's something we can get behind. [Fan TV]