Mohu preps Channels TV tuner release after raising $145,000 on Kickstarter

Antenna maker Mohu is working on releasing its Channels TV adapter this summer after successfully completing a Kickstarter campaign that not only helped the company to raise close to $145,000, but also provided some input on the direction of the product. “The majority of the stretch goal feature ideas were suggestions from backers – the product actually evolved during the duration of the Kickstarter campaign as a direct result of backer requests,” said Mohu spokeswoman Jenni Samp.
Mohu Channels is a TV adapter that combines free over-the-air broadcast programming with online video services like Netflix, (S NFLX) YouTube (S GOOG) and Hulu Plus. The device, which is based on Android, will offer users a cable-box-like programming guide for live TV as well as the option to access additional video sources through an integrated web browser. Check out a first look at a Channels prototype below:
Some of the stretch goals the company added during its Kickstarter campaign include the ability to play back local content as well basic time-shifting functionality that will allow viewers to pause and then fast-forward through live programming, which should come in handy to skip ad breaks. The company will also develop an Android app that can be used as a remote control for the device.
Channels is competing with a number of other products, including streaming devices like Roku, Chromecast and Amazon’s (S AMZN) new Fire TV, as well as over-the-air-centric products like and Tablo — but Mohu is coming at it from a unique angle. The company’s founders originally launched Greenwave Scientific, a defense contractor that developed compact radio antennas for armored vehicles.
Greenwave Scientific offspin Mohu took the same technology and repurposed it to build antennas for the reception of HD TV, building flat antennas that don’t look at all like your Grandma’s rabbit-ear antenna. This week, Mohu introduced a new compact model dubbed the Leaf Metro.