Click the mouse, not the remote: Local company sends TV to PC


Watching your favorite television program isn't just for TV any more.

Tuning in -- or clicking over -- to vintage programs, movies and sporting events is happening on computers across the globe. Viewers will soon have thousands more shows available on mobile devices, too, thanks to Tom Ficara and Charry Kennedy of Henderson-based Margate Entertainment.

The two have been providing online television and movie programming through the tv4u.com Web site for more than two years, and they're about to move from cyberspeed to hyperspeed.

Ficara, Margate's founder, said the TV4U site now serves as a portal to 42 speciality sites, with content ranging from Westerns to classic commercials to action, and just about everything in between. There are now more than 6,000 titles available, with about 10 shows added daily.

"It would take 24 years, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to watch all the shows we have," Ficara said.

Kennedy, Margate's CEO, said the company plans to grow the video-on-demand library to more than 25,000 titles when it's done.

"But we don't want to be done," Kennedy said.

In addition to vintage programs like "Mr. Ed" and "Combat," the site also shows original programming. One of the most popular shows is "Silver Nugget Bowling," hosted by Ron Futrell. The show features matches between local bowlers, many of whom have bowled professionally.

Ficara said TV4U will soon release an iPhone application that will let customers download individual programs for 99 cents. The company will also be offering a download subscription service on tv-4me.com in January, that will let customers save and watch programs offline.

Customers will have three channels of content available -- movies, sports and comedy -- starting at $9.95 monthly for one option, topping out at $15.95 for all three. Ficara calls this the "Vegas buffet model," letting fans view all they want for a flat rate. One billing plan will allow customers to have the charges added to their telephone bills.

Downloadable video content from Margate will also be available soon on Amazon.com, which will let customers build a customized digital video disc with programs of their choice.

Margate has also started specialized online magazines, giving fans more content. These include sport-magazine.com, bowlingillustrated.com, boxingillustrated.net and silverscreenmagazine.com.

Where there are fans, there's the chance to sell something, so Margate is adding more e-commerce from Shortlineshop.com, a virtual mall selling goods, such as videos, hats, shirts and retro products like Maypo (a cereal) and Bosco (a chocolate syrup).

Share your Internet story with me at agibes@reviewjournal.com.

 

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