Qplay Calls it Quits

Just months after the release of the Qplay beta app and TV adapter, the company has decided to pull the plug. On July 25, 2014 at 5pm PDT, the servers will be shut down and the Qplay app will no longer work. After extensive testing and reviewing the Qplay, I warmed up to the idea of curated video streams. Was it too revolutionary? Did Michael Ramsay and Jim Barton, the creative minds behind TiVo, miss the mark or were they ahead of their time?

The Qplay system was made up of an iPad app that could stream videos as well as control a Qplay adapter connected to a TV. It’s “revolutionary” concept was to have video queues—playlists that were curated by Qplay or by other users. When subscribed to a queue, new videos would be automatically added to your “What’s New queue.” What’s New would start playing as soon as the app opened. The Qplay founders thought this was more like the experience of turning on a TV channel.

When I first tested Qplay, I was not a fan. The experience was similar to playing the Featured video list in YouTube, or going to Reddit and playing random videos. Before subscribing to queues, the random online videos were often some of the worst on the web. Still, I warmed up to the idea after adding videos of those I follow on Twitter, Facebook, and categories of videos—photography, travel, comedy channel. I was treated to videos I would not have otherwise found. Despite my turnaround of opinion, is doubtful that many users who tried Qplay took the time to set it up and were disappointed in the initial video queues.

The app was difficult to use in that many features you would want at your fingertips were hidden deep in menus. The skip forward to next video and go back to previous playback controls were missing from the Qplay app altogether.

The idea of following video queues and random playlists might be pretty good. With so many videos on the web, it's a treasure hunt to find new, interesting videos. Qplay just wasn’t the revolutionary slam-dunk that Ramsay and Barton experienced with the TiVo DVR. In a blog post on the Qplay website, the shut down was announced “with heavy hearts,” and a “thank you to our investors and partners for giving us this chance, and especially want to thank you, our users, for giving us a try.” Perhaps others will pick up the idea and make it work in some other iteration.

Those who purchased the $50 Qplay adapter can contact the company for a full refund.

Qplay has posted their last Qplay clip pick on their home page. Fittingly it is an old clip of The Roy Rogers Show with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans singing “Happy Trails to You.”

kevon27's picture

After watching the episode of Home Theater Geeks where you (Bard) describe the Qplay service... My brain just went into shutdown mode.
This service DID NOT MAKE SENSE..

kevon27's picture

Barb not Bard..