Mohu Channels has a truly “open ecosystem” because it is running on Google’s Android operating system. In simplest terms, that means that an app available on Google Play can become a channel on Channels. Amazon’s newly introduced Fire TV will have a much more limited selection of apps because it runs on a modified version of Android.
Two items obvious missing from Fire are HBOGo and Vudu. Most cord-cutters do not have access to HBOGo because they’ve canceled their cable subscriptions, but they may have friends with usernames and passwords to HBOGo, especially if they need to keep up with Game of Thrones. And unlike Netflix or Hulu+ which require monthly subscriptions, Vudu has great content and it runs on a “pay as you go” model, allowing movie rentals and purchases, and individual purchases of TV episodes.
The other advantage to Channels’ open ecosystem is that you can customize your channel lineup via the Google Play store. Pandora or Spotify are commonly used music apps. And then there are the less obvious ones, like Zillow if you are house hunting, or travel apps to help you plan your next vacation.
Because Channels also contains a web browser, it becomes open to everything on the web–that’s an open ecosystem! So you can watch broadcast websites, Vimeo, your Facebook feed, or a school’s snow day announcement on your TV.
And finally, there’s the OTA part of Channels. The Leaf antenna that is part of the Channels experience is small but mighty. It brings viewers all the great OTA content that is available for free from your local TV broadcasters.
OTA-OTT-WEB. That is an open (and as free as you want it to be) ecosystem.
Channels is available on Kickstarter until Thursday, April 10.