Rovi rushes in to rescue Fan TV, set-top box may live on

rovi acquires fan tv may save set top box

If you’ve heard of Fan TV and have been excited about the prospect of a cool, not to mention uber-affordable, single set-top box that could replace both your pay-TV and Web video boxes, you may have heard the rumors that the company was looking for a buyer following slow sales, as reported on re/code. But it appears things may be looking up, as Rovi has acquired the startup.

Rovi develops technology that powers a large number of the video guides you see today through various services. That sort of fits with Fan’s initial business idea, which was to develop software that would make it easy for you to locate a particular TV show or movie across multiple platforms at once, not just within Netflix, for example, or your pay-TV service guide, independently. Think of it like a high-powered Google search for media boxes. Fan, by the way, was initially an offshoot of a BitTorrent business called Vuze.

Somewhere along the line, the Fan TV box emerged this year, selling at an attractive $149. The concept: rather than help you search for content across the various media boxes in your home, this box was meant to outright replace them all. That’s a pretty tall order for a startup. But clearly it had some legs, as Fan managed to snag a deployment deal with Time Warner Cable, allowing its customers to purchase the box.

Nevertheless, the Fan TV box may live on, thanks to Rovi. Or will Rovi simply use Fan technology to enhance its own guides? We should know soon enough.

You can learn more about Fan TV here.