The best of Web, on your TV

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Updated: March 24, 2015 9:48:48 PM

A Silicon Valley-based Indian techie has developed an easy to use interface which delivers some of the interesting Web content and apps on your TV

Silicon Valley, iRevo, iRevo device, TVFirst stop was obviously the Silicon Valley for Dhimant Bhayani, but he couldn’t resist the call of India as he sensed the market opportunity in the smart TV segment in the sub-continent.

First stop was obviously the Silicon Valley for Dhimant Bhayani, but he couldn’t resist the call of India as he sensed the market opportunity in the smart TV segment in the sub-continent. To add to his ambitions was the newly elected Narendra Modi government which has come down heavily on making India digital.

After spending 30 years in the United States at the heart of the technology sector, Bhayani decided to use his knowledge and come up with a device that could help him make a mark in this lucrative space. Hence, iRevo Multimedia was born with the intent to create a future-ready device that could become a complete solution for home entertainment and compete with devices like the Apple TV and Chromecast.

“A lot of people have been working in this space, but nobody has emerged the clear winner. This is when we saw the perfect opportunity for a product we had in our head that would help bring the world on your TV screen,” Bhayani said in an interaction with FE.

iRevo’s devices, which look more like a set top box-cum-modem, are more or less a combo of devices like the Chromecast, Apple TV. At a macro level, the iRevo device has the ability of transforming every TV into a smart TV which results in an effective buy for the consumer. There is also an option available in the device to allow analog TV connectivity. The devices can also support mouse, keyboard and gaming pads which will allow the TV to be used as a computer. It can also be upgraded to be an IPTV once the device starts selling through MSOs or ISPs.

The iRevo devices will run on Android 4.4 operating system, making it possible for the users to do almost everything that they can do on the phone like using social media or browsing the web. Some of the leading websites have also been bundled to allow easy access for the users. Plus, the app will allow multi-screen use for the device. So, essentially content can be shared via the smartphone or vice-versa. Although the operating system is Android, the device has a Windows 8 tile user interface for easy understanding of the user. In addition, the devices will come in with a login facility to take care of parental lock issues.

Explaining the devices, Bhayani said, “What we are offering is a strong suite of both the best of TV and the Internet on an Android. We are in negotiations with several players to bring in more content into the cloud from where the device will stream so that an ecosystem is created and more consumers and entertainment houses can engage with each other.”

Apart from that, the iRevo device has USB ports, an HDMI port and a air mouse signal port for easy connectivity and operation. Also, users don’t have to pay a bill every month, but only their Internet consumption bill which is in line with the Prime Minister’s thought of providing a minimum of 2 Mbps connections throughout the country, Bhayani added.

Currently, Bhayani is running on the $2 million fund he has collected from high networth individuals, but he intends to raise more funds from venture capitalists to help establish the brand through proper advertising channels. When asked about the competition, he said that the product will make its own mark. “It crosses all the limitations of a Chromecast and also gives you a true convergent device. Our aim is to collate Indian content for the Indian masses thus setting us apart from everybody else. There is an option of Hindi for operation of the device and we are supporting content in nine languages at the start and more will follow soon,” he said.

iRevo, whose devices will be manufactured in Shenzhen, will attack the ecosystem in three ways. “It will target the growing appetite of several Netflix-type start-ups. Also, we are targetting MSOs and ISPs where these guys will sell our products through schemes or packages of their own,” Bhayani said.

Asked about profits and future plans, Bhayani said that iRevo intends to sell at least 2 million products in the next calendar year. “We are looking at R25 crore revenue without new funding from VCs and R52 crore if we get the cash,” he added.

iRevo devices will vary between the price segment of R7,500 to R8,500 depending on the three models. General specifications for the device would be a quad-core CPU with a 8/16 GB internal memory with 1 GB of RAM.

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