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Sezmi launches TV service trial in Los Angeles

Sezmi, a startup promoting mobile broadcast television, began a pilot program in Los Angeles for its technology. The company hopes to integrate live television into broadband content with both subscription and free programming.

The service delivers premium content on a subscription basis and provides access to large volumes of pay-as-you-go movies and TV. It also contains a large collection of free on-demand content. The company will select participants for the Los Angeles pilot through an online application available for a short time only.

Sezmi licenses broadcasters’ spectrum to distribute, or datacast, its television and Internet video content to its subscribers. The company also enhances revenue with highly targeted advertising and new ad forms and extends broadcaster brands by bringing together local news and programming with online content in a single, local station content zone.

To connect viewers, Sezmi automatically records, organizes and recommends shows for each person based on their individual preferences. The press of a “mi” button on the Sezmi remote instantly launches a person into a custom view of their own favorite content ready for instant viewing, along with recommendations matching their viewing habits.

Sezmi includes motion picture and television content from major studios including 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Studios, as well as an extensive lineup of independent studios. It also will integrate a variety of Internet content including YouTube and video podcasts.

Sezmi will also provide access to a wide selection of local programming, including local sports, weather, ethnic and even special children’s programming. It includes access to every major broadcast network, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, My Network, CW, Telefutura, Telemundo and Univision.

At CES, Sezmi is showing its personalized television system in the Harris booth, which it claims can help broadcasters generate “immediate new subscriber revenue, targeted advertising, rich individual viewer data, and branded zones that integrate broadcasters’ linear TV and online content.” Harris hosts Sezmi’s national network operations center at its broadcasting facilities in Florida.

The NAB is also promoting Sezmi’s hybrid broadcasting model heavily at CES, even though the company has not yet launched the service. NAB chief Gordon Smith mentioned the company in his testimony last month before the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet.

He said Sezmi is “working with broadcasters to provide a blended broadcast-broadband system that is a more affordable, quality alternative to cable and satellite.”