Coming to an iPad near you

Published in the Ottawa Business Journal newspaper and website.
July 25, 2011 (July 28 on

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Nuvyyo technology taps into growing media streaming market

Nuvyyo chief executive Grant Hall.
Nuvyyo chief executive Grant Hall.
Photo by JOËL CÔTÉ-CRIGHT for the
Ottawa Business Journal.

Grant Hall says his company Nuvyyo and its flagship product, JetStreamHD, could grab a slice of a market worth as much as $200 million by 2014, given rising consumer appetite for remote access of their home media.

Mr. Hall, who’s Nuvyyo’s chief executive, estimates that 10 per cent of the roughly 6.8 million iPad users in North America have media collections at home that they want to tap into on their tablet computers, regardless of wherever they are in the world.

Of that figure, about 10 per cent will use hardware-based products like JetStreamHD, with the proportion growing further within the next three years as the number of iPads climbs to about 95 million, he says.

Already, Ottawa-based Nuvyyo has received 300 preorders for JetStreamHD since its February launch at the DEMO Spring 2011 Conference in California and subsequent presentation at Ottawa’s DemoCamp in June, with only a “reasonably small marketing effort.”

The bootstrapped company has only received $150,000 from the National Research Council’s IRAP program, and $25,000 in seed funding from the Ontario Centres of Excellence, Mr. Hall says, adding that other investors are waiting to see how the product does.

Still, it’s come a long way from its roots in Nortel’s mobile video solutions group, for which Mr. Hall led marketing efforts for two years.

JetStreamHD plugs into a user’s home router, searches for media on devices in the user’s home network such as computers and media servers, then instantly streams that content onto an iPad through a downloaded app.

Mr. Hall says the system is unique in its ability to rapidly convert any media format into a file that’s compatible with the Apple tablet and to deliver it in a matter of seconds. Conversion tends to be a time-consuming process, especially with videos, which are generally large files.

“It usually takes a few hours and you have to use a third-party software, and then you have to download it to your iPad,” says Mr. Hall. “We thought, ‘There must be a better way to do this, and let’s bypass all that.'”

As well, the streaming delivery method means the media doesn’t take up additional space on a user’s device, unlike other cloud-based technology that lets consumers redownload their content from the network.

JetStreamHD joins a host of other companies in a growing field that includes competitors such as Orb Networks and StreamToMe, and complementary technologies such as Ottawa-based Axentra’s HipServ.

Given the fact that watching videos has been identified as the third-most common activity on an iPad, after web browsing and social networking, Mr. Hall is anxious to get the word out about his firm’s product.

Nuvyyo is planning to ship out its first JetStreamHD units this week, and early sales will take place through the company’s web store. The next step, Mr. Hall says, is to get together with online retailers and to promote the technology on blogs.

“It’s more for the early-adopter community, and it’s about engaging that community and finding evangelists who will adopt it,” he adds.

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