West Virginia Startup: Reel Deal LLC Uniting College Students Through A Set Top Box


Interesting is the first word that comes to mind when checking out a new startup based in Wheeling West Virginia of all places. Reel Deal LLC was founded by Ramee Naja, Broderick Colaner and Phillip Mshelbawla, three students at Wheeling Jesuit University.  These guys obviously aren’t afraid of a big idea. Rather than a straight up online social network, a new movie streaming site, they’re offering will come in the form of a set-top box for college students in the spring of 2013.

Reel Deal is combining a social network of college students, through their University while simultaneously offering over 1000 movies via the set-top box, that college students are known to love. The set-top box will offer ways for students to interact, important classroom and institution information and of course some entertainment content.

Reel Deal plans to offer their service in conjunction with the universities and colleges that sign up. After the partnership is formed the students enrolled at those colleges will be able to access the service through the set-top box that will be a one time $49.99 fee via their technology account.

“Our company is based off our own ideas of what we think would help improve higher education. We focus on giving kids an avenue in which they can receive all their academic and social information, while being rewarded for choosing Reel Deal,” Naja said in a statement.

Beyond the initial $49.99 (which barely covers the hardware) Reel Deal will make money through targeted advertising delivered directly to the set-top box.

We got a chance to talk with Naja about Reel Deal and what it’s like to launch a startup in Wheeling WV. While the Wheeling ecosystem is still in it’s infant stages, they are just 40 minutes away from Pittsburgh which is flourishing.

Check out the interview below:

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New Mexico Startup: Whiteman Technology Unveils Windows Set Top Box At DEMO

A Clovis New Mexico startup, Whiteman Technology, is hoping to take advantage of a hole in consumer entertainment that’s been caused by the delayed release of next generation gaming systems by both Microsoft and Sony. While the world awaits the two gaming giant systems, Whiteman has unveiled a monster of a set top box.

There are a lot of choices in set top boxes these days. You’ve got Boxee, Roku, Google TV boxes, Netgear Neo boxes and many more all competing for the same space. However Whiteman has packed their box with a ton of features.

Whiteman Technology’s set top box features:

– The ability to display cable tv programming (not found on most boxes)
– Playing 3D games for the PC
– Recording 6 channels at the same time (DVR)
– 1 terabyte hard drive to store everything in your collection
– voice control and gesture recognition

“We’ve taken people off guard with a hardware startup,” Ryan Whiteman said at DEMO. “We have gotten a lot of attention, and we intend to build this in the U.S.”

Whiteman and his co-founders Blake Jordan and Shaffin Baldwin have not announced pricing or availability for the new set top box but did say it would be on par with TiVo’s set top boxes which tend to run a little more than the Roku, Boxee or Google TV variety. But, you’re getting a ton more features.

Whiteman Technology was one of 80 companies chosen to participate in IDG’s Demo Conference in Santa Clara, CA this past week.

source and photo: VB

NetGear Lets You Upgrade Your Old TV To A Smart TV

 Netgear is one of the first names you think of when you think of personal, in home routers.  They’ve also started releasing other gear for the connected home that runs across wifi, or the internet.  NetGear’s new NEO TV is one of those pieces.

The Neo TV (NTV2000) is a new streaming player which turns your existing tv with an HDMI port into a smart tv.  The Neo TV adds access to thousands of movies and tv episodes via Netflix. It also deliver hundreds of HD titles via Vudu and the hodge podge of videos that is YouTube. Their are games and apps on board, with even more content that is planned to be announced after the Neo TV launches later this month.

Nibble on after the break
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