Santa Monica, Calif.-based zone-TV said Monday that it plans to launch a group of 14 subscription video-on-demand television channels, with content currated by humans and delivered with the help of artifical intelligent (AI) to provide special interest programming that is not readily available elsewhere on cable and satellite TV services.

Zone TV is using more than 70,000 shows acquired under license agreements with various content owners, including magazine publishers like “Field & Stream,” NASA and other sources to assemble its assortment of “Dynamic Channels”.

Zone-TV plans to offer these channels through major pay-TV providers, who would integrate the content into their channel lineups. The company said it expects to offer the channels for around $6 a month, but the programming distributor offering the service to its subscribers would ultimately set the final price to the end user.

Among the offerings are 12 channels of content segmented by age groups and by genres identified by names such as: “Foodies, Great Outdoors, Mancave, Motors, Playground (for children) and Stylers”.

Zone-TV will offer a free channel to all viewers of its partners’ subscription TV services, with a sample of the broad range of content found in each of  the zone-TV “Dynamic Channels.”

Viewers will also have the ability to create their own “my zone” channels, comprised of favorite programs culled from the different zone-TV channels.

Zone-TV said its cognitive engine, powered by AI, uses both active and passive viewing behaviors to tailor a channel specifically for each viewer.

Read more about Zone-TV after the jump:

Zone-TV said its channels will use AI to learn and serve videos from the cloud to television sets that should appeal to the specific interests of individual viewers. Viewers will have the ability to sample shows from five simultaneous program choices – channels within a channel – for each thematic network.

Zone-TV Dynamic Channels allow viewers to move forward and backwards in the show stream to find and watch an intriguing program immediately. Subsequent programs in the stream can change on the fly to reflect the viewer’s new preferences, the company said.

Zone-TV, which was previously known as ES3, has been developing the technology platform for the past decade with an eye on offering the ultimate in personalized video entertainment that can produce new business models for content creaters and multi-channel video providers alike.

Viewers will see the channels listed in programming grid guides from participating cable, satellite and telco-TV services. The company is currently in negotiations with a number of undisclosed providers.

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“This is revolutionary TV,” said Jeff Weber, CEO of zone-TV, said in a statement. “It is the future of television viewing, Zone·tv is the first pay-TV programming to utilize artificial intelligence to enhance a linear like channel. And most importantly it is truly dynamic in every sense of the word – for consumers, video producers and distributors.”

The company said its platform will not require any new hardware in the home. Viewers use standard TV remotes and existing set-top boxes to select show and enable features like fast-forward and pause.

Zone-TV, which will offer a revenue-sharing model with content producers and distributors, said it will manage the feed from its Cloud servers, without impacting bandwidth management for service providers.

Selections of zone-TV’s programming can be seen on AT&T U-verse, Comcast, DirecTV, CenturyLink, TELUS, Bell Canada, Frontier Communications and others. The Dynamic Channels will launch in the fourth quater of this year with partners to be announced later. Video will be offered in HD resolution. A Zone-TV spokesman told us there will not be any native 4K UHD resolution support over the channels at launch time.


By Greg Tarr


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