FreeCast.com isn’t going to be available for free for much longer. The company said it will soon start charging what it characterized as a nominal fee: $10 a year.
It also said it would begin selling a computer controller for TVs. The company’s SkyBox includes a scaled-down PC (a “micro-PC”) and wireless keyboard remote, which the company said will turn any TV into a Wi-Fi personal computer. FreeCast.com said it “will likely thrive where set-top (app-based) boxes have struggled.”
FreeCast.com, launched in January, was introduced as a free alternative access service to pay-TV services. The idea is to provide a guide that aggregates information about and links to other sites that provide free access to broadcast TV. The company said its guide directs users to more than 5,000 channels globally, including on-demand, live and high-definition programming.
The original idea was to keep the service free to consumers and make money entirely through display advertising. The company did not specify a date when it will begin charging the $10-a-year fee. Skybox, meanwhile, is anticipated to retail for around $100.
“SkyBox will enable split-screen entertainment with email, chat and social media sites, such as Facebook and others,” said FreeCast CEO William Mobley.
The company also plans to release its first device and a wireless PC/keyboard that users will be able to use to control the FreeCast guide and navigate the Web on their TV screens.