Friday, January 18, 2008

Snapstream Shutting Down Couchville - Free TV Guide Suite

couchvilleEarly this morning, Rakesh Agrawal, CEO and founder of Snapstream announced on the Snapstream forums that the company would be taking their free, TV listings website, Couchville offline.  He said that "at least for now, this is the end of the road for any kind of a free, TV listing website from SnapStream."

Snapstream is the maker of Beyond TV, a software-based DVR program that gives the user a "Tivo"-type experience without the cost of TV guide subscriptions or any annual fee like you have with the Tivo.  Snapstream isn't changing the TV guide feed that they provide to the users of Beyond TV in any way.  The Couchville site (announced on this blog post in March of 2007) and on Snapstream's Blog as well was an experimental project by Snapstream that started with the aim to be the "simplest place for TV listings on the web."  The site ran using Ajax and was touted on many popular tech blogs including Techcrunch, Download Squad, and when it was first released to the public, but the project was basically abandoned in terms of development by Snapstream soon after it was released.

Back in November when I interviewed Agrawal, I asked him about the status of Couchville.  He said the project development had been in a holding pattern and there were no plans currently for changing the site from its current functionality.  Its obvious that the focus of Snapstream will be on their new Enterprise hardware/software for businesses and the Home-version of Beyond TV.  Agrawal said in his announcement that "for the Couchville loyalists out there, we're sorry to take the site away from you. If you're wondering why we're making this move, simply put, it doesn't make business sense for us to keep the site running."  There had been hopes by some BeyondTV users that some of the functionality of Couchville would be integrated into BeyondTV's own online TV webguide "", but those hopes have faded and it looks highly unlikely that anything further will come of the Couchville site.

via Snapstream Forums