About this project
Mohu Channels Makes Your TV Smarter!
If you’re like most people, you watch television from lots of different sources: Over-The-Air (OTA) broadcast TV and streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu+, YouTube and Crackle. The problem is you’re constantly having to switch from input source to input source. All of your TV sources are disjointed and scattered everywhere. It’s hard to navigate, incredibly messy and unnecessarily complicated.
We’ve set out to make this new era of TV viewing significantly easier. Now you can watch all of those video sources, plus the Web, all combined together in an incredibly easy-to-use personalized channel guide. We call it “Personal TV.” Now, with Mohu Channels, anyone can create their own channel guide with just the channels, streaming video apps and websites that they like best. So, for example, if you like watching CBS and Fox over-the-air, plus Netflix, Hulu+ and Facebook, you might create a channel guide that looks like this:
Anything Can Be a Channel
- OTA: Over-The-Air = Broadcast Stations (independent & networks: CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, PBS, plus all your local favorites) All of these are FREE with the help of a simple HDTV antenna!
- APP: Streaming video apps = Netflix, Hulu+, Crackle, YouTube, and thousands more. They're easy to get from the Google Play app store. It's exactly like downloading and installing an app to any Android tablet or smartphone.
- WEB: Websites = Simply type into Channels the address for your favorite web page and it instantly becomes a TV channel in Mohu’s Channel Guide. Choose your favorites – school websites, business, shopping, photo websites - you decide!
Add All Your Favorite Video & Cable Channel Apps
The Google Play store has thousands of video apps. Here’s a small sample:
Broadcast Network TV:
Streaming Video and Music Apps:
Apps Provided by Cable TV Channels:
Sports Television Apps:
Break Free of Cable Bills!
Nielsen’s TV rating service found that 96 of the top 100 most viewed programs are available Over-The-Air (OTA) for free with an HDTV antenna. With cable rates skyrocketing, five million households will “cut the cord” this year.
With the help of an HDTV antenna, Mohu Channels will scan for all available OTA channels in your area, showing you the actual strength of each channel, and will automatically place them into your Mohu Channel Guide.
You can decide which ones to keep and in what order you’d prefer. Now you have access to all the local and national TV network programming available in your area - for FREE! No more cable or satellite bills!
What About the Web?
With Mohu Channels, we consider a web site just like any other channel. Want to make Facebook, Wikipedia, Expedia or Google a channel? No problem. Simply type in your favorite web sites and bookmark each as a channel. How about that for bringing the world of content together?
Keep in mind, in some cases, the website will have richer content than the corresponding app. So, for example, the app for The Daily Show is difficult to navigate and doesn't show full episodes. But, on The Daily Show's website ( http://thedailyshow.cc.com), users can stream the full episode of the most recent broadcast the next day. CBS.com has full episodes available for streaming the next day and occasionally runs "catch up marathons" for current shows. Fox.com "locks" some of the most recent episodes for eight days without a cable subscription but previous episodes are available for streaming. So if something isn't listed as an app, it is either because we haven't tested it yet, or it may work better on Mohu Channels as a website.
Another powerful feature of Mohu Channels comes directly from requests made by our Kickstarter backers. They wanted a way to find great content from across the vastness of the Web. The answer is an incredible addition to Mohu Channels we call Mohu One.
Mohu One is a channel that comes preset on every device we ship. This channel will continually be updated with an enormous store of great video content that our team will curate for our Channels customers. Imagine a seemingly unlimited guide to thousands, make that tens of thousands, of great movies, videos and TV shows in categories like Music, Kids, Living, Entertainment , Tech & Education, Sports, and Arts & Culture. This is just the beginning. Think of Mohu One like a streaming video service that offers movies and TV shows, with one exception - everything on Mohu One is free content!
The Ultimate Remote Control for Internet Video
Mohu Channels comes with an amazing remote control. This control has been designed to make your thumbs smile. Hold it in two hands and experience its remarkably accurate motion control air mouse for moving the cursor on your TV screen. If you've ever used a nasty on-screen keyboard, you know how hard it is to move the cursor between letters. The first time you search Netflix for a movie or type into your Facebook page with the fully backlit QWERTY keyboard on the Mohu Channels Remote, you'll never want to go back! It also controls your TV so you only need to use one remote.
Based on requests from our Kickstarter backers, we also plan to offer a remote control app that will function like this remote, only you will be able to use your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet as your remote control! Now you'll have great options to choose from to control your Mohu Channels device. This new capability will be available after Mohu Channels ships in June and will be done as an software update to all users.
Smarter Than a Smart TV!
If you've shopped for Smart TVs, you know how expensive they can be. Mohu Channels turns any HDTV into an even Smarter TV, and lets you choose from a wider variety of programming than any Smart TV on the market.
No Smart TV lets you do all of this:
- Combine all your favorite programming on a single source
- Arrange your channels in any order: Kids channels. Sports stations. Streaming movies. Web sites for photos, stocks or weather. Local TV stations. You decide. Everything you want - and nothing you don't want.
- Use a real keyboard or smart device to type in movie names, web addresses, email or any other text. No more on-screen keyboards! We absolutely love the new remote!
How Mohu Channels Works
It’s easy: The Mohu Channels Tuner sits discreetly behind your HDTV or your entertainment center. No need for yet another box to clutter things up! Connect the Mohu Channels device directly to a coax cable leading to an antenna. (If you don’t have an antenna, choose one of the Kickstarter rewards that includes either our award-winning Leaf 30 indoor HDTV antenna for 30-mile reception or our amplified Leaf 50 HDTV antenna for 50 mile-reception.) Then, Mohu Channels uses WiFi or a direct Ethernet connection to link to the internet for your web and streaming content. It also has an HDMI output that plugs into any HDTV with an HDMI port. Then power this puppy up and take your TV viewing experience to an exciting new level! Everything together in one place!
Next comes the really fun part: customizing your very own Personal TV Channel Guide. Are you a movie fan? Put Netflix and Crackle on top. Also like prime-time shows? Put CBS and NBC next. Add your favorite television apps from the Google Play store - the exact same Android apps you use on your Android smartphone or tablet.
Mohu Leaf 30: (not pictured) This reward does not include the Mohu Channels product. The Mohu Leaf 30 indoor antenna is the best way to get started watching free OTA broadcast channels on your TV.
Mohu Channels: Choose this reward if you already use an HDTV antenna to watch OTA broadcast channels. It includes just the Mohu Channels product (no antenna included).
Mohu Channels & Mohu Leaf 30: Choose this reward if you live within 30 miles of your local broadcast towers. It includes Mohu Channels plus the Mohu Leaf 30 indoor HDTV antenna. This is a great choice for most urban areas and apartment dwellers.
Mohu Channels & Mohu Amplified Leaf 50: Choose this reward if you live within 50 miles of your local broadcast towers. It includes Mohu Channels plus the Mohu Amplified Leaf 50 indoor HDTV antenna. This keeps the antenna indoors, but adds an amplifier to boost signals.
What's In the Box:
- Mohu Channels Tuner (4.8 in. x 2.6 in.)
- Mohu Channels Remote (5.5 in. x 2.7 in.)
- Mohu Leaf 30 or Leaf 50 Antenna (depends on reward level chosen)
- Four AAA batteries
- Coaxial RF cable
- Power supply adapter
- HDMI cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Antenna input (antenna included with higher backer rewards)
- Internet (Wi-Fi or Ethernet)
- Power (power adapter included)
- HDMI, 1080p30 (HDMI cable included)
Video and audio formats supported:
- Mohu Channels supports most online/internet audio and video formats.
For a detailed list of specifications, please click here.
Use of Funds
The proceeds of this Kickstarter project will pay for tooling and parts to take Mohu Channels into volume production. We have already tested the first 20 pre-production units from our manufacturing partner and everything works well-you can see those units in the photos above and in the video.
Product Design History
Mohu Channels started when one of our engineers complained about how complicated TV was becoming. He had a cable box as one input source, video apps playing through his laptop on a second input, and free OTA broadcasts on yet another. It was starting to get out of control. He said one morning at the coffee machine – “They’re trying to turn my TV into a computer! I just want my TV back!!” He believed that TV now required a pilot’s license to shift from source to source with different instructions for each. And his wife was deathly afraid of touching the remote control in fear of screwing everything up. TV wasn’t fun anymore.
The team gathered to discuss the possibilities. What if we could create a better way to watch TV by borrowing from the past? The time-tested Channel Up/Channel Down channel guide we’ve all come to know and love has worked just fine and deserved another chance at life. And what if we could put all sources of video content – over-the-air broadcasts and streaming video apps together in a single source using that channel guide concept. And what if we added, just for good measure, websites and all their great video content, too? If we do, we need to also create a simpler way to interact with all this content. How about regular typewriting keyboard built into the remote control?
Our earliest prototypes were large and bulky. Users we showed it to didn’t like it–they said they had too many boxes next to their TV already. So we redesigned all the electronics into the small Channels Tuner that connects in-line with your antenna cable.
Our first keyboard prototypes were also large. Users quickly told us that the remote had to be small enough to fit comfortably in their hands, but still have keys large enough to type on in the dark. So we created a compact (5.5 x 2.7 in) remote that feels great in your hands, and is also backlit!
We also put a lot of work into the Air Mouse feature. When you are on a web page or app that needs a cursor, the Air Mouse moves around the screen in response to the remote moving in your hands. This required a lot of engineering, but it works great.
Voila! Mohu Channels was born – bringing all types of TV content together as a single source (OTA/APPS/WEB), placing it into a simple navigable format (the Channel Guide) with the perfect device to control it all (our beautiful Channels Remote)! Now we’re having fun again.
About the Team
The core team at Mohu has worked together for more than 10 years, first as leaders at Greenwave Scientific and now at Mohu. The company was founded to help protect U.S. Military personnel from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Iraq and then in Afghanistan. Our team was hired by the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center to reverse engineer the radio frequency transmissions used to detonate these devices. We were then asked to develop a “no-profile” antenna system for armored fighting vehicles to protect our troops. This is the technology ultimately became our paper-thin Leaf HDTV antenna.
We’ve designed and built all of the Channels test hardware and prototypes in-house. Four team members played critical roles in the industrial design, circuit design, RF design and prototyping:
- Dr. Mark Buff, Ph.D., is Mohu’s co-founder and CEO. With over fifteen years of electronics industry experience, Mark is our leader and a key technical contributor to our Leaf and Channels products. Mark came up with the initial idea for Channels, and conceived the notion of combining OTA, streaming apps and web pages into a traditional channel-up, channel-down user interface. Mark also designed the form factor of both the Keyboard and Tuner.
- Russ Winstead is our Director of Operations. Russ has decades of experience in design engineering, high-volume manufacturing, automated equipment design and electronics design & packaging. Russ has been in charge of all mechanical design, which includes the plastic housing for the Channels tuner, remote and power supply. Russ has also been responsible for all assembly instructions and quality assurance processes.
- Chris Guan is our Product Development Manager. Chris has over ten years of electronic product design and manufacturing experience. Chris has owned the Channels product since October 2012, and managed firmware and hardware development and the design of the complete user experience. Chris is also responsible for all part selection, sourcing and procurement.
Risks and challenges
As of the start of this project, Mohu Channels has completed beta testing with dozens of users. The rev 1 hardware and software works. Our developers are working on preparing the product for volume production, and adding additional exciting features we will include for free to all Kickstarter backers if we meet our goals.
Our biggest risks at this point are manufacturing delays: electronic parts can get backordered, plastic parts may not fit perfectly together. We are working closely with our manufacturing partners to ensure this product is released on time and is a success.
We've shipped over a million and a half antennas over the last couple of years, so we consider ourselves particularly good at the logistics of delivering orders. We don't anticipate any problems here.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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