Inuk Networks, the UK-based startup IP TV and triple-play service service, has been acquired by Move Networks, one of the leading IPTV providers in the US. Inuk’s platform has lots of potential for targeted advertising and converged, especially as it has a PC/Mac multi-room solution. Details of the deal were undisclosed. Move Networks allows broadcasters like ABC, FOX, The CW, ESPN360, ProSieben, and Televisa to deliver live and on-demand high-quality video to PCs and other web-enabled devices.
Currently Inuk’s biggest services is providing digital IPTV, phone and Internet services to over 40,000+ students in the UK. Its Freewire TV service is free to students with access to the JANET high speed network, which connects all UK universities.
In June last year Welsh broadcaster S4C and investor Wesley Clover put in £9.5million of second round investment into Inuk. Wesley Clover is the venture vehicle of Wales-based Sir Terry Matthews, one of the UK’s leading technology entrepreneurs who seeded Inuk initially (and Inuk is based in Wales).
Underlying FreeWire is what can only be described as a ‘virtual set-top box’. In other words, Inuk has developed a client application for both Mac and PC which turns the a laptop or desktop into a set-top box able to receive broadcast-quality TV. It’s not a P2P application but multicast which means it could scale to millions of users relatively easily. Not only that, but Freewire works a bit like a web application, which means you can even build widgets for it. So you could, say, watch TV and have an IM or Twitter conversation with other friends watching the same show. Since launching in September 2007 Freewire TV has created a potential footprint of 100,000 student bedrooms at over forty universities around the UK. Inuk Network’s Freewire delivery platform is also capable of delivering VoIP and broadband internet access.