Boston-based Skreens has launched a Kickstarter campaign for two devices that would allow TV viewers to watch up to four different sources on one screen.
The little boxes are called the NexusTwo and NexusFour, and they are designed to blend together streaming TV, broadcast, TV, game consoles, and pretty much any other HDMI video source, all into one interface. Imagine having a football game, Netflix, YouTube, and a video game on screen all at once, with viewers being able to switch between them at will.
Skreens says the two small Nexus boxes are powered by “patent-pending innovation at the silicon layer” to make it possible to combine the streams and signals onto a single display. The chip running this is a 1GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor with 4GB RAM. The video processor is the other key that enables the ability to view multiple content sources with zero lag.
Skreens says it has a “new, proprietary and wildly powerful microchip” in the Skreens Media Accelerator. The startup claims it has the horsepower to blend together “almost unlimited” real-time HD streams into a single interface. This includes customizing much of the interface to combine windows from different devices or the web.
In what it calls “the first truly smart TV experience,” Skreens cites examples of how such a mishmash of content could work in viewers’ favor. A gamer could have a game and walkthough from a web browser up at the same time. Live sports can be a little more fun if there was a fantasy page and Twitter next to it. Watching the Oscars with Pinterest open is another.
It will also reportedly play nice with home theater audio setups by supporting audio on all inputs. Users can select the primary audio channel to output via HDMI and optical S/PDIF outputs to the system, whereas all other audio sources are available as streaming output via Wi-Fi. It is also possible to stream audio channels to an iPhone or iPad to listen to listen to content individually using earbuds or headphones.
To avoid adding another remote to the table, Skreens will instead use an app for iOS and Android, plus a browser-based option for computers, to control it. The plan also includes opening up the platform to developers as part of the SkreensTV App Store to bring out more functionality in the devices.
Delivery to Kickstarter backers is expected for December, and since the Skreens creators have already done a small run for a small Indiegogo run, there’s hope they may actually make that time frame.
The NexusTwo offers three HDMI ports, two inputs with one output, while the NexusFour raises that to four inputs and one output. Skreens indicates on its website that it is possible to daisy-chain multiple Skreens devices together, so who knows how far one could take this.