TiVo Founders Shutting Down Qplay Video Service Fewer Than 6 Months After Launch

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The Problem With Founders

Qplay, the video streaming app and device from a couple of TiVo co-founders, is closing down next Friday. The shutdown marks a short life for the service, which launched in February this year with a $49 streaming device and expanded to the iPad just last month.

The company was founded in August 2012 by Michael Ramsay and Jim Barton, who brought DVRs into the mainstream with TiVo a decade earlier. Their new venture, which was funded by Redpoint Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, offered up a way for viewers to watch a continuous stream of Internet videos found on sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.

It lacked a lot of the so-called premium content that viewers could find on the likes of Netflix or Hulu. For that reason, and due to the competitive nature of the streaming device ecosystem, the $49 Qplay TV adapter was a tough sell.

Which is why the company unsurprisingly released a free iPad app with similar functionality. Even so, it seems like that wasn’t enough to get viewers interested.

Qplay announced the shutdown on its blog yesterday, offering refunds to those who had purchased the adapter. Marketing director Ashley Martin-Golis wrote the following:

If you purchased a TV Adapter from us and would like a refund, we will give you your money back (learn how to request a refund). Refund requests will be accepted until next Friday July 25, 2014 at 5 PM Pacific. All TV Adapters will stop functioning when the service shuts down, so please responsibly recycle your TV Adapter. Click here to find a local electronics recycling location. If you have any questions send us an email to help@qplay.co.