NimbleTV streams cable TV to any device, legally

Summary:NimbleTV, a new start-up that takes existing cable TV packages and streams them online, isn't the future of television that everyone is waiting for. Nor is it trying to be.

Somewhat on the heels of TV start-up Aereo's announcement and rapid subsequent legal troubles comes NimbleTV, another web start-up that is attempting to figure out how to bridge the gap between TV and the Internet.

Only, unlike Aereo, NimbleTV is trying to do things a bit more by the books.

NimbleTV allows customers to stream television content to any device running its cloud-based software. The service, which will launch in earnest later this year, will work alongside cable suscriptions, allowing for much greater viewing flexibility for cable customers.

And it seems to be the real deal, seeing as how the scrolling marquee on its website says that channels ranging from CNN, Comedy Central, Nick, and Fox are all on board. That alone places the service in a very different, perhaps sanctioned, realm from Aereo, which has utilized some dubious legality to defend its own efforts. NimbleTV, it seems, is going in a very different direction.

"Our model is predicated on the belief that providers and content producers should be paid. NimbleTV is a solution that’s both consumer friendly and industry friendly," NimbleTV CEO Anand Subramanian said in a press release. As Subramanian makes clear, NimbleTV has no real intention of upending the current cable subscription model.

As far as pricing goes, there are a lot of unanswered questions. While basic plans will be provided "at cost", NimbleTV says customers will also be expected to pay "a small fee" for things like DVR features, subscription set up and, most vaguely, "the added functionality of portability." Who knows what that fee will look like, but it's probably telling that NimbleTV isn't saying what it is just yet.

Fee concerns aside, the idea seems solid, though concerns over traction and legality always hover over ventures such as this. Oh, and in case it wasn't obvious, NimbleTV isn't the future of TV that lots of people have waiting on. So in that sense there may not be much to see here.

NimbleTV enters into private, New York-only beta today alongside around two-dozen channels.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware

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Ricardo Bilton writes for ZDNet's The ToyBox.

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