Qplay, Internet Set-Top Startup Formed by TiVo Founders, Shuts Down

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Qplay, the Internet video-device and app startup launched by the founders of TiVo, is closing its doors less than six months after launching its first product.

The company announced Saturday that its last day of service will be Friday, July 25 .

“Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to keep developing and running the service,” Qplay marketing director Ashley Martin-Golis wrote in a blog post announcing the company shutdown. “We want to thank our investors and partners for giving us this chance, and we especially want to thank you, our users, for giving us a try.”

SEE ALSO: No Netflix, No Problem? TiVo Founders’ Qplay Set-Top Places Bet on YouTube and Other Free Video

San Jose, Calif.-based Qplay was founded in August 2012. Investors included Redpoint Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; the startup had not disclosed how much funding it had raised.

The $49 Qplay adapter, introduced in February, as well as the startup’s iPad app for was able to access only free Internet video sites, including YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Facebook, Comedy Central, The New York Times and Yahoo. Qplay’s approach was to string clips together, based on a user’s preferences, in a way meant to resemble traditional linear TV. The device’s creators, Mike Ramsay and Jim Barton, were the founders of DVR pioneer TiVo.

However, the Qplay device did not let users access subscription-video services, like Netflix, Amazon.com Prime Instant Video or Hulu Plus — which limited its appeal compared with competing set-top devices like Apple TV, Roku and Google Chromecast.

The company said it would give customers who purchased a Qplay TV adapter their money back, with refund requests accepted until July 25 at 5 p.m. Pacific. All adapters will stop functioning as of next Friday, Qplay noted, “so please responsibly recycle your TV Adapter.”

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