News / Ottawa

Two Ottawa companies press play on apps-for-TV at CES

You.i TV and Nuvyyo on display at massive Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

You.i TV CEO and cofounder Jason Flick says the apps-for-TV model is not a risky business venture anymore.

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You.i TV CEO and cofounder Jason Flick says the apps-for-TV model is not a risky business venture anymore.

If your kids watch shows on your phone or you spend weekends plowing through episodes of Transparent on your Xbox, you’re probably watching most of your TV on an app.

Two Ottawa tech companies are harnessing your binge-watching habits – and showing off their software at the massive Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.

You.i TV representatives are down south after a busy year. The multi-screen video developer secured $15 million in funding from L.A.-based venture capital firm Kayne Partners in September. This past year, the company almost quadrupled its employee numbers from 40 to 150. They are responsible for creating the YTV and Treehouse Go apps, as well as the Rogers Media Shomi streaming service.

“People aren’t looking at it as this risky thing anymore,” said CEO and co-founder Jason Flick.

Indeed, Apple CEO Tim Cook declared “the future of TV is apps” last year when he announced the company would open up its TV service to third-party app developers.

Kanata-based Nuvyyo, the creator of Tablo, is also attending CES this week to launch its new app geared for Apple TV. Tablo is like a PVR with apps – where you can record or play live shows – but geared for local TV viewing (and you can ask Siri to jump ahead of commercial breaks). About 90 per cent of the company’s sales are in the U.S., but the software and hardware are developed in Ottawa.

People like the apps-for-TV model because it’s more convenient and flexible, according to Nuvyyo CEO Grant Hall.

“They’re looking for an à la carte solution. They’re tried of having 500 channels forced on them when they only watch 17.”

CES runs Jan. 6-9. Last year, the conference welcomed 170,000 attendees to 2.2-million net square feet of space – roughly the size of 38 NFL-sized football fields.