There are a lot of people who want to bring web content to their big television screens and we’re seeing a host of companies trying to make that happen with products like the Google TV and Boxee box. The folks at Snapstick are also jumping into this with a set-top box and some cool mobile applications.
The promise with Snapstick is that you can browse YouTube, Hulu or multiple other sites on your iPhone and then “snap” it to your box connected to your television. The video or web content would then seamlessly transfer over WiFi.
The Snapstick box and apps use what is being called SplitMedia technology to offload the Internet connection ot the existing home WiFi network so your laptop or phone can use its processing power for surfing the web and other things. The service has launched in private beta but look for it to hit in early 2011 for the mass market.
We’ve seen stuff that’s similar to the Snapstick technology with the YouTube Remote app for Android, which doesn’t even require an additional box. In fact, I’m a bit concerned about how well Snapstick will be able to deliver on its promise of delivering the full web on your television.
The company says that once you “snap” the content over to your television, the website just sees the box as a standard desktop web browser. The problem I see with that is that users were also able to do this with the Google TV to get around Hulu being blocked. After the content providers got wind of this, they blocked the Google TV and the Android-based set-top box is basically useless for a lot of premium web content.
The Snapstick folks may face this same problem if it picks up traction. Getting YouTube shouldn’t be a problem but real people want more than dogs on skateboards when they think about the web on their television.
Check out the video below for an idea of what to expect.