Having piloted their “personal TV service” in Los Angeles since November, Sezmi is formally launching into the LA market today via local Best Buy outposts.
Last month at CES, I finally got a look at their product… which pulls together local other-the-air (OTA) programming, premium programming (such as CNN and SyFy) simulcast OTA in select markets, and Internet-sourced content including CinemaNow VOD and YouTube. Their vision is solid, and more holistic than most, likely embodying the future of home entertainment by aggregating multiple content sources within a personalized presentation for each family member (or housemate).
But, based on several beta testimonials, Sezmi’s initial implementation appeared somewhat lacking — typical of many new products. Fortunately, as co-founder and president Phil Wiser shared with ZNF, “We learned a great deal from our pilot customers and rapidly incorporated a variety of changes as a result. We improved the performance of the user interface, included a full screen live TV guide and added in significant reception and signal quality improvements.” He also mentioned the great success of user self installation during the pilot, in terms of ease and efficiency. Something I can definitely get behind after a number of inefficient and frustrating CableCARD install experiences.
The Sezmi package, which consists of a media reciever/DVR, smart array antenna, and remote, runs $300. But a service subscription is also required. $5/month gets you guide data for the locals, access to online content, and the like. Whereas Sezmi Select Plus provides access to the OTA “cable” programming, along with the base service, for $20/mo. Obviously Los Angeles is the first market lit up with premium over-the-air content, via locally licensed spectrum. However, those living on the bleeding edge could possibly order Sezmi online from Best Buy now and activate the lower service tier anywhere else in the US. Until Sezmi officially rolls out nationwide late this spring.
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