ZillionTV has taken the concept of free, ad-supported television and adapted it for the Internet age.
The Silicon Valley startup has developed an Internet-based set-top box that hooks into HDTV sets -- and it has lined up five brand-name TV and movie studios as content partners -- for a service that will deliver a fully on-demand, personalized television experience with highly targeted, interactive ads.
But ZillionTV, which is shooting to launch its service in the fourth quarter of 2009, isn't strictly a direct-to-consumer play. Instead, it's looking to strike deals with telcos, cable operators and other Internet service providers as distribution channels, said ZillionTV CEO Mitch Berman.
"We're looking to partner with the MSOs," said Berman (pictured, left), a longtime cable executive, who has previously worked for HBO, E!, OpenTV and C-Cor. "We don't intend to go over the top."