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In his quest to find an alternative to cable TV, Josh Kaplan signed up last fall to test a brand new TV service called Sezmi. This hybrid online, over-the-air broadcast would ultimately cost $4.99 to $19.99 a month when it launched in February 2010. But as a tester, the Long Beach resident got it all for free.
His verdict? Not ready for prime time.
“I really want them to be successful,” said Kaplan, who lives in Long Beach. “I love to hear of an upstart that’s challenging the status quo. I’ve actually been pleasantly surprised by the quality because I wasn’t expecting much.”
Sezmi launched in the Orange County market in February 2010 offering a different kind of TV service. Besides the usual free over-the-air channels like CBS and Fox, the Sezmi box also offers around 15 cable channels, including CNN, Nickelodeon and Discovery. The Belmont, Ca. company has contracts with Turner Broadcasting, Discovery, Viacom and NBC Universal.
The $4.99 price includes the over-the-air channels and Youtube access; the $19.99 price includes everything else. That’s a steal compared to Kaplan’s current TV bill of $175 for Verizon FiOS TV and Internet service, which continues to creep up.
But set up was off putting to Kaplan. He had difficulty connecting the box to his home network so Sezmi sent him a Homeplug kit that routes Internet service over the home’s electrical system. Still there were issues but after “about 4 to 5 days, I happened to get it to work,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »