Viewing Internet content on HDTV is a painfully tricky affair these days but Snapstick thinks they can succeed where others have crashed and burned. Forget Google TV, Boxee Box and Apple TV for a moment. Snapstick’s whole philosophy seems different and that’s where it might have a chance.
Rather than relying on a box connected to the TV (Note: there’s still a box connected to the TV) for navigation and discovery either through a painful onscreen keyboard or a clumsy full size keyboard, content for Snapstick is found either via a computer or iOS device running the Snapstick app. Once you find the video, you physically snap the phone and *bam*, it starts playing on the TV.
The creators say that this method drops any barriers that others like Google TV and Boxee Box must deal with. If you can find the content on your phone or computer, Snapstick will get it onto your TV. Or so they say.
The concept is based around how many consumers already find their content. Think about it: you’re sitting on your couch, browsing the web with a netbook, iPad or iPhone and you find something you want to watch. Rather than watching it on the small screen, or dealing with a set-top box like TiVo or Google TV, this solution transports the stream to your HDTV. Plus, more than one person can snap the content to the TV. Clever.
The hardware works a lot like current streaming boxes. A small box is connected to the TV via HDMI and content is actually played through that and not the remote device. The key difference is the phone or computer finds the content rather than adding yet another remote to the living room. The company hopes to eventually get rid of the box entirely by having the goods built into other companies products.
Now, questions remain like the price, hardware implementation, lag time, and video quality, but the company is entering a private beta phase today and is willing to let in the first 20 TechCrunch readers that contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They will also be at CES 2011 so we’ll be sure to get a full hands-on demo.