Streaming video service Qplay shutting after less than 6 months

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Getting into the streaming TV business might be all the rage right now, but it’s far from an easy game to play. (Which is why Tim Cook referred to Apple TV as “a hobby” for so long.)

Proof positive of this is Qplay, the Internet video-device and iPad app startup launched by the founders of TiVo, which has announced that it’s closing shop less than six months after launching its debut product.

“Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to keep developing and running the service,” said Qplay marketing director Ashley Martin-Golis. “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.” No further details are reported as to why the company is shutting down.

For those (unfortunate) Qplay users, the service will end this Friday, July 25. Despite its strong pedigree, Qplay suffered from not allowing users to access subscription-video services, like Netflix, Amazon.com Prime Instant Video or Hulu Plus. Instead it strung together video clips from free Internet video sites, such as YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, Facebook, Comedy Central, The New York Times and Yahoo, based on learning individual user preferences.

Qplay has said that it will give customers who purchased a Qplay TV adapter their money back, up until 5pm Pacific on July 25.

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About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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