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Matchstick, the first HDMI stick based on Firefox OS, is the best way to experience your favorite movies, music, and games on your HDTV
17,218 backers pledged $470,310 to help bring this project to life.

February Update – Product Delay, Hardware, DRM, Content, and more!

Posted by Matchstick.tv (Creator)
108 likes

Hello Matchstick Fans!

We’ll cut to the chase; Matchstick is not going to ship in February. 

It’s been a very busy couple of months and we’ve had to make some hard decisions about how to move forward. We’ve decided to release the product when it is ready, and anticipate that to be in August 2015. Let us explain more. 

Matchstick is, at its core, a group effort to bring a solid, open, and affordable alternative to the world of video streaming. Manufacturing is hard, but the totality of what makes a product experience complete includes so much more. That collaborative effort includes the hardware, the software, the content providers, and of course, the independent developers that will build on the Matchstick platform. 

Hardware: We want to update the hardware. We’ve been looking at a number of exciting applications and potential experiences for Matchstick and we’ve determined we need to give it as much power as possible. So we’ve been looking to increase the CPU power from a dual core to a quad core chip. We’ve also been looking into common issues with Wi-Fi performance. Because of the location of most HMDI ports on HDTVs, many similar products have Wi-Fi connectivity issues. We’ve spent some considerable time reviewing ways to improve the antenna to ensure a consistent connection that some of the applications will require. We’ll keep you posted of course on the newest stats and specifics! Finally, we are eating the cost to improve the hardware, and passing along the benefits of improved hardware to our backers. It’s a cost we are willingly paying for the promise of a better product. 

Software: With a new processor, we have some new opportunities. Matchstick, with Firefox OS inside, is being updated to support DRM (Digital Rights Management) capability. As you know, many premium content providers such as Netflix require DRM support. Matchstick has undertaken the mission to develop DRM as an independent project with the open source community. In fact, we’d love for you to get involved! If you’re a developer specializing in EME, MSE, and CDM technologies, we’d love to hear from you. We plan to use the Microsoft PlayReady technology and are excited to bring premium content to Matchstick. We’ll keep you updated as we work to contribute newly developed source codes for DRM back to the open community. It’s our goal to make sure open source technology doesn’t mean 2nd tier content and experiences! 

Content Providers: We are continually in talks with all the content you will want to experience on your Matchstick. DRM is a barrier and has become our primary focus, and as we work to nail that down we continue to explore new opportunities to upgrade the entire Matchstick experience. We have been looking at some very exciting possibilities! We can’t wait to show you in the coming months. 

Independent developers: We’ve seen some incredible possible use cases for Matchstick and want to make sure the developer community’s creativity is not hindered by hardware or software limitations. We feel strongly about supporting developers with something much more than a hacked Chromecast type device. The updates to Matchstick will ensure that. 

We’ve learned a lot about Matchstick since last fall. Most importantly, we learned that we had struck a nerve with consumers and brands alike. So we’ve been working to make sure we build a community not just a product. We’ve been arranging partnerships, hiring team members, and taking steps to ensure Matchstick is more than just a one off product and will be announcing more partnerships, hires, and even some further funding in the coming months. 

So there it is! We hope you agree it’s better to make a small sacrifice now for a bigger gain later. Our goal is to bring a whole new way of interacting with the screens around you with an easy to use, powerful, and customizable platform. We have big ambitions, but with your help, we are certain we can get there. Thanks for all of your support! 

- The Matchstick Team

PS- Speaking of support - We've also Implemented our support and developer center! Be sure to check it out when you get a chance, especially if you are among our esteemed developers!

Duncan, A E, and 106 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Kris Tipton on

      How bout more hardware production and less of the community-building crap?
      I want a streaming stick, not new neighbors.
      And DRM??? Not what I signed on for....
      Also, I never even got a sticker, much less a hoodie - just saying.

    2. Missing avatar

      Andrew Clem on

      Thanks for the update! Seems fair and acceptable to me. Manufacturing can be a real boondoggle, so good luck. I hope with the extension, that SlingTV support will be added. Best...

    3. Missing avatar

      Charles Stanhope on

      Thank you for the update. Improving the hardware is a laudable goal. However, I am disappointed about the planned addition of DRM. I backed this project with the assumption there wouldn't be DRM (since it was described as an open source project). I do not accept DRM. So even if you ever manage to ship, I will not be using this product nor recommending it to anybody else. I intend to pick up a Raspberry Pi and connect that to my TV instead.

    4. Ken VanderVeer
      Superbacker
      on

      You received $470k to produce somewhere around 17k Matchsticks. If you are now effectively starting from scratch, do you still have enough of that funding left to produce this new hardware design and meet payroll until August without seeking additional funding? If not, you are wasting our time.

    5. Jorrit Pouw on

      "We feel strongly about supporting developers with something much more than a hacked Chromecast type device. The updates to Matchstick will ensure that. "

      Then I also hope you will ship out the updated version to the 25 first-hour developers that signed up at the very moment this project was launched. I am one of them, and I do indeed see the need for a better, faster version.

      Having said that, that does mean that projects already developed by us developers have been tested on an inferior device, which isn't representing the 'real thing' that will be released in the future. This is a major setback and I can imagine others getting the feeling of simply 'wasting our time' on a platform that, in the end, might be delayed another year. For now, my trust in this project has been damaged. Please make it up by keeping your word; blow us away in august 2015.

    6. ionas on

      Okay. That's a fair update.
      I did back this cause of the concept though and one thing I strongly dislike: Please do NOT invest this crowdfunding money into supporting DRM, especially not if it is not an entirely open stack, e.g. a community driven DRM implementation.

      To sum it up:
      1. Delay and changes in development road map are entirely okay, I can wait even longer.
      2. DRM support as a key feature (that even delays) means I want my money back!

    7. Missing avatar

      Simon Matter on

      Matchstick Guys: Please provide ASAP a way for those backers who don't want to wait how to get a refund!

    8. Missing avatar

      Rich Kim on

      THANK YOU for the no-charge of the hardware update.
      i'd rather wait for a complete BETTER unit than a sub-par version that was shipped out too soon to appease IMPATIENT backers (like the below people)...i don't want to have to buy a VER. 2 8 months down the line. thanks again for this and look forward to receiving in august!

    9. Benjamin Kerensa on

      I'm ok with this because it will mean more content with DRM support on the other hand last minute notice is probably going to upset many and august is a big stretch of time.

      I hope with this delay that you will make a commitment to have support out of the box for some of the following content providers on day one:

      Netflix
      Amazon Prime
      Hulu
      Vudu
      Spotify
      Pandora
      Popcorn Time (build a plugin please)

      Also supporting both Chromecast and Airplay would be great too.

    10. Missing avatar

      Ken Henriksen on

      Thanks for being up front about the delay. Just remember, your competitors are improving their product too. When August comes the bar will have moved and you'll want to add something else. Last November I cast my lot and my cash with you. If I had bought a Chromecast instead I would be enjoying it, despite its limitations, right now.

    11. Missing avatar

      edward Wiegand on

      Wow, What a bunch of complete B.S... Talk about Bait and switch!!! You have let down your entire group of supporters. I for one would like my refund. Thank you. You had no intention of ever delivering a product in February and should have never made that promise. You owe everyone who supported this endeavor a refund and an apology. I even bought two of them!
      There is really no excuse you can provide that would satisfy the community other than you have no idea what you are doing and that you used the goodness of our donations for what is right now vaporware/snakeoil. Very dissapointed in you guys!!!!

    12. Carl Kibler on

      Hardware Kickstarters always make the same wrong moves, and here is another example. A straightforward project suitable to myriad uses is being delayed for better hardware, extended features, etc. This is the exact line I knew would sink this project: "We want to update the hardware. We’ve been looking at a number of exciting applications and potential experiences for Matchstick and we’ve determined we need to give it as much power as possible."

      There is _always_ better hardware to include, but you have to resist - it's the only way to ship a product.

      Delaying to include a quad-core chip is a bad idea. Delaying to modify the wifi is a bad idea. Delaying to add complex DRM is a very bad idea. You are straying from the original plan pitched to supporters: quick delivery of a Chromecast-like device. I an many others are very disappointed at this - this is a *bad decision*.

      The better decision would be to ship the v1 and then start figuring out the v2 as a separate Kickstarter. Always reaching for the next thing kills products and angers users.

      Please reverse this decision, for the sake of the product and the supporters.

    13. RichFellows on

      February was at the fringe of what I was willing to accept in terms of wait time. If with the new features you decided to include it pushed it a month maybe I'd tolerate that. But 6 months? Forget that. Should be fun to try to complete this project when most of the backers pull their funds out. Maybe you should have delivered the project you promised in February then include all of the promised upgrades in version 2 that's released in August.

    14. Missing avatar

      David LeFebvre on

      I'm sad that I won't be consuming mass quantities of streaming content via my Matchstick(s) this month, but I'm excited about the more powerful device that I'll eventually receive. It couldn't have been an easy decision to delay the launch, but I appreciate that the Matchstick folks are more concerned with putting out a robust device than with hitting an arbitrary deadline.

    15. Missing avatar

      Dip on

      Great communication skills guys! Six months delay annonced on the 6th Feb 2015, the month I was supposed to get my hand on this stick.

      You went to CES and other events, revamped the website but actually had no idea 6 MONTHS delay were coming? Come on...

      Better get myself a Chromecast. How do I get refunded?

    16. 7844 on

      Will the hardware and software changes affect what was supported and what was not supported? If so, then the FAQs will need to be updated. For example mirroring is not supported? Will the hardware and software updates now make mirroring a supported function?

    17. Missing avatar

      Tom Davidson on

      ​Where do you get to unilateral modify the contract? "Kickstarter provides a funding platform for creative projects. When a creator posts a project on Kickstarter, they’re inviting other people to form a contract with them. Anyone who backs a project is accepting the creator’s offer, and forming that contract ... The creator is solely responsible for fulfilling the promises made in their project. If they’re unable to satisfy the terms of this agreement, they may be subject to legal action by backers. " https://www.kickstarter.com/terms-of-use

    18. Missing avatar

      Terry Skews on

      The world is full of broken promises, but you, and DRM!! How can we get our money back please?

    19. Missing avatar

      Fabian Wilson on

      If you knew you where going to change the hardware why did you wait until the last minute to announce it? Come on I have been waiting for months already and now I have to wait 6 more months. Then what "We have decided to use a new 8 core processor with more memory and more DRM 6 more months." Understand when you asked for support and we gave you our dollars we expect you to hold up you end of the deal and when we get told at the last minute hey we decided to change it up at the last minute and now you have to wait even longer we get upset. Beside in 6 months how relevant will a streaming stick be heck by then there might be a new Chromecast or Firestick heck Apple may even announce a new streaming stick of their own. I understand you trying to make the best device possible but understand we all back you with the current specks and that is what we expected not a 6 month delay because you will try and change the hardware. I don't want my money back I will wait the 6 months but understand another delay and you might as well give up on the project and just give us our money back.

    20. Steven Shvartsman on

      Also what about the beta developers units ? Those are now fully diffrent ? Guys you are not making sense and need to provide more information... What if Amazon releases a new FireTV stick or new ChromeCast comes out ? You guys will wait another 6 months? I think message is clear here, please provide more information or send us the product as you promised ! For which we bought in, not an idea of a perfect non existing device that has to be started from 0!

    21. Missing avatar

      Simon Trigona on

      Will developers be getting their devices upgraded?

      Can there be more communication out to developers regarding software (API and OS) updates?

    22. CraniaLab on

      This is the second hardware project that has sent out a major delay note to me this week. I don't think I will be backing any future hardware projects. My interest in KS on the whole has taken a big step down over the last six months. I'm interested in a refund although I'm guessing that is not possible.

    23. Luis Enrique Ortiz Uriarte on

      Not completely unexpected, considering that we didn't hear anything as we approached February. I'm still happy to have supported the product, and hopefully will be rewarded for it. 6 months does sound a bit worrying though...

      Remember everyone: Crowdfunding is sort of like investing. There is ALWAYS an element of risk involved.

    24. Missing avatar

      Chris Vanelli on

      I realize Kickstarter is not a "store" and that I'm investing in product development. Delays are expected. 6 months at the last minute before expected ship date may be a little much, but O.K.
      The problem I have is that I DID NOT invest in a product with DRM. That long of a delay for a "feature" I don't want and wasn't expecting is wrong. Start another project for a DRM'ed version, don't kill the project I invested in. I don't want my money back, but I don't care if it ever ships and will just consider it a LOSING investment.

      Good luck. I think you just killed it with the DRM.

    25. Missing avatar

      Simon Matter on

      Not acceptable at all.
      I don't want to wait another 6 months! As another commenter already mentioned: Delaying it NOW means you've never built the amount of sticks scheduled to be shipped in February.
      I want my money back. NOW.

    26. Cristian Tane on

      If I knew it'll be like this, I wouldn't have pledged anything in the first place.
      Oh well. I guess I'll be getting the Chromecast after all.

    27. Missing avatar

      Winn Phillips on

      I'm extremely disappointed that another promising project is letting the idiotic DRM demands of the content industry ruin what would have been a beautiful piece of hardware. DRM doesn't stop or even really slow down piracy at all, if anything it increases it when I can't get content I want on the platform I want. I think you may have reduced the appeal of this device to the maker/tinkerer crowd.

    28. Steven Hoyte on

      First it was early February, I've been checking my mail and UPS every day just hoping. I sent an email asking about delivery and did not get an response. Now I see it will (hopefully) August. By then there will be newer televisions with all of this built in. Not happy.

    29. Missing avatar

      Jeroen van de Uitvlugt on

      A 6 month delay and a update about the delay in the delivery month. In august the matchstick has old hardware. Disappointing!

    30. Missing avatar

      Scott Tashman on

      Understand that there are many design issues, and I respect the team's desire to release the best possible product. Also, I am not about to stress over an $18 investment.

      My concern is that, as release of Matchstick is delayed, the competition will continue to improve. This could create an endless game of "catch-up" and threaten the viability of the project. it is perhaps better to release a functional first-generation device with limited features than to allow feature-creep to drive repeated redesigns, pushing the release date further and further into the future. After all, your backers gave their support for a relatively simple device that gets the basics right!

    31. Kristin Dowling on

      Your team knows more about development that 99.9% of the people here if you think you need a 6 month delay that's fine better a good product that takes a little longer that a rushed out POS

    32. Missing avatar

      Ling Wang on

      What about offering the developer version to people that just want to have something? 6 months is like a generation in tech terms.

    33. Ken VanderVeer
      Superbacker
      on

      So let me get this straight, a product that was supposed to ship this month, was funded a little over three months ago, needs another SEVEN months for an entire hardware redesign, new software, and we're supposed to believe that'll happen without additional funding? Unlikely. This also means that the units that WERE supposed ship were never manufactured and this would have been known about weeks ago. So much for transparency.

    34. Missing avatar

      RENAUD-GOUD Arnaud on

      Oh, well, DRM inside, better buy a GoogleChrome key.
      How to be refunded, as the content will not be the 'promised' one ?

    35. Missing avatar

      Rick on

      Very very disappointing! I was one other the first backers, I had my doubts from the beginning about the time schedule, but because there already were prototypes working, I gave it the benefit of the doubt.
      Well, at least add Wi-Fi 5 ghz n and ac else it won't be able to compete with new upcoming versions of for ie the chromecast.

    36. Missing avatar

      Tom on

      Well I guess I'm going to get a FireTV or Chromecast...

    37. Missing avatar

      Kevin Welsh on

      If you are aiming for perfection, you will never release a product...

    38. Deacon Blues on

      Since you're reconsidering the hardware, any chance for 5GHz support?

    39. Missing avatar

      Andrew Mike on

      Can't say I'm surprised at the delay, but it's a bit disheartening -- to say the least -- to hear of a 6-month delay so that DRM can be implemented, especially from a device purported to be an open-hardware and open-software device. With that in mind, I have a few questions:

      * How much of this codebase will be shared with Mozilla's own efforts in incorporating EME into Firefox? Will the DRM be sandboxed, as theirs is, to prevent privacy breaches? What is the security model you are looking at?

      * Will Matchstick continue to be an open-hardware, open-software device? How much of the software running on the Matchstick will be made proprietary? Will there be an option to run a DRM-free version of Matchstick? If so, how much functionality will be lost between the two options?

      * Will independent developers have the option to create Matchstick apps without the use of DRM? Will independent developers have the option to create Matchstick apps at all?

      * Exactly how much of Matchstick's commitment to open hardware and open software are you prepared to trade away to bring content providers on board? Will there still be a commitment when all is said and done, or will this simply be another Chromecast clone?

    40. Missing avatar

      B+P-Snegge on

      I can live with a little delay in turn for a better product. I'm really excited about the capabilities of Matchstick. Yet, even though I see the appeal, I myself don't care about any content, be that premium or free, that uses DRM.

      @Mallikarjuna: At least they are honest about it. If you have some experience with Kickstarter you know that only few projects deliver on time if at all.

    41. Tall Oak on

      I appreciate the update on the item....was my Birthday gift to me (January) Now I wait till August? I am disappointed to say the least. My question is this, By August won't technology surpass the intended upgrades in the newsletter today? We are all aware that once a product hits the market it is already out of date. SO waiting another 6 months will make whatever you develop in the next month outdated? This is my first project fund and probably my last. I love the concept and the product as advertised but delays should hve been predicted? You base it on the new and exciting ideas? How about releasing what you spoke of then as in any device release a new one when upgraded?

    42. Missing avatar

      RENAUD-GOUD Arnaud on

      Well, it was said February, when I 'bought' it about 5-6 months ago. And ONLY NOW you said : delayed to August ?
      Then in August, as there will be new hardware chips, you'll said : December ?
      It was my first and last crowdfunding experience ...

    43. phoi on

      any way to double down on my little 1 matchstick investment to make up for at least 1 person who has lost patience?

    44. Edwin on

      I didn't backup this project for a product that it's exactly like the others on the market. I backed the promise of a new product unique on his own, not a copy. If you couldn't deliver the Matchstick from the beginning, it would have been better to put a real date thereon.

      Totally dissapointed from a project that promise so much!

    45. Preston Swain on

      I'm with you Steven, crowd funding is a joke. I don't think I've ever gotten a decent product, much less one on time. Guess it's time to just buy a chromecast.

    46. Jay Saenz on

      While I agree with your choice to build a better product, a six month delay does not bode well for your success in the marketplace. You have a number of competitors that are constantly updating and innovating in this space. 6 months from now what you deliver may not be worth the price of admission. Please provide us with refund instructions.

    47. Missing avatar

      David Woodman on

      As mentioned below I appreciate a lot of things you guys are doing to release the best possible product. As a consumer that paid money in advance for a product (essentially investing in you) more communication would be great. You went dark after CES and a lot of people were left wondering/hoping about the February release. Good luck as you move forward. Please keep the updates coming.

    48. Missing avatar

      Jean on

      How do I get my money back?

    49. Warren Coakley on

      6 months. OK I do know delays occur its what crowd sourcing is about. If its going to be a better product at the end of it all I'm haooyvto wait but maybe not others. If your committing to August please make sure it is. 6 months is a long time in the tech game and who knows if something better might come along that is better than Matchstick. Its the world we live in. Just keep the communication going and maybe increase a few more beta testers too.

    50. Missing avatar

      Nick K on

      Very disappointing. Many great solutions already exist for streaming 'premium' DRM content, was there really big customer demand for this?