Sezmi, an ambitious TV startup led by veterans of Sony and Clearwire, is finally launching its service in Seattle next month.
The company offers an alternative to cable and satellite TV services, using special hardware that receives TV content over-the-air and via broadband Internet connections.
Sezmi tested its service in Seattle in 2008, in part because of the region’s challenging topography. It also helped that three of the company’s managers were based here at the time.
Here’s a story I wrote in 2008 when the company announced its plans.
Service in Seattle will start with a basic $4.99 per month plan offering local broadcast channels in high definition, a library of on-demand movies and cable shows, and access to YouTube and other Web video shows.
To use the service, you’ve got to buy the hardware – including a receiver and a DVR with 1 terabyte of capacity shown here – for $150. There are no equipment rental fees.
In other markets, Sezmi offers a premium plan for $19 that includes access to 15 cable channels but not ESPN, Food Network or HGTV. A spokeswoman said the premium service should be available in Seattle at the end of the year or the start of 2011 and the company’s working to expand the cable lineup.
Sezmi, based in Belmont, Calif., raised $75 million since it was started in 2006. It launched its service earlier this year in Los Angeles.
Seattle’s part of an expansion push that’s extending Sezmi from 15 to 36 markets on Aug. 2.