Category Archives: Bhaalu

Future of Linear Scheduled Television

story-of-televisionThe Future of Innovation in Television Technology (FITT) just came out with it’s second report for August 2013 that predicts the 2025 television landscape. The report evaluated transformations to the music industry as a result of the analog to digital shift in order to draw many of it’s conclusions. Here are some of the noteworthy predictions:

  • Mobile devices in 2025 will contain processing power greater than todays fastest and most powerful desktop computers.
  • The storage capacity of SD cards has been doubling every year for a decade, by 2025, it is predicted that an SD card will 2 Petabytes, enough space to store 500 million MP3 songs.
  • Broadband internet speeds will be up at 2.5,GBPS while currently in Singapore, a range of 5mbps to 100mbps is most common.
  • Linear TV with a desire to watch high quality live TV content will still be dominant. Even when the content is not live, sharing a cultural experience with others by tuning into the same content, at the same time, is a powerful phenomena.
  • Expect an increase in catch-up TV and video on demand at the expense of live and time-shifted content.
  • There will be an industry in search, just for TV content, ability to perform granular searches on 40 years of linear TV content.

The report goes on to discuss the future of TV Networks and Infrastructures, data management and the evolution of devices and applications. It is an excellent, fact filled and well written report, a must-read for those in the TV industry.

While most of the 2025 predictions seem like safe bets, we believe the demand for linear scheduled TV, as highlighted above, is greatly overstated, if not just plain wrong.

When the VCR was introduced, many predictions called for the demise of movie theaters, but that never happened, due to a phenomena pointed out by John Naisbitt termed High Tech High Touch.

The high-touch phenomena has allowed movie theaters to thrive over the years, despite technological advances that have rendered it obsolete, but can this phenomena hold together linear scheduled broadcast television? We say no.

Live TV and broadcast sporting events will of course will thrive, due to the high touch phenomena of this experience. However, linear scheduled TV programming is becoming increasingly fragmented as time-shift devices such as bhaalu allows consumers to watch what they want, whenever they want.

Unlike a movie theatre, where you are surrounded by others, watching linear scheduled Television is an alone experience, with nothing more than a perception that others are out there watching it along with you. The first time you experience time-shifted television, you will know just how thin that perception is.

With the growth of time-shifting DVR devices, the perception that others are watching the same program along with you dissolves. We believe by 2025, scheduled linear TV programming will continue to exist, but there will be little if any demand for it, it will have no high-touch cohesive power and will be unable to draw cultural phenomena feelings. In essence, we believe it will be as bland and one dimensional as FM radio is today.

Arrested Development  pioneered a new way of consuming television, which through social media platforms, did in fact draw together a cohesive cultural movement, offering a new model for the future of high-touch television.

Full FITT report here.

Lean-back vs Lean-forward Television

old-fashoned-tvTo understand the future of TV, you only need to contrast it with the web. Nielsen Norman Group wrote an excellent article several years ago that is just as relevant today as ever. It outlines the differences between Television versus the Internet.

Aside from a comprehensive comparison chart, the article points out the following:

“Indeed, people basically don’t use any of TV’s advanced features precisely because they’re so cumbersome. As a result, the received user experience is pretty simple: turn it on, sit back, and enjoy the show.

The Web has powerful features, is nonlinear, and is user-driven — able to  instantly gratifying  users’ current needs based on their search engine queries.  Mobile Web use lives even more in the current moment.

Compared to TV, the Web also has a much finer  granularity of user control: When watching  TV, you make one decision every  30–120 minutes: pick a show or movie to watch, and then it’s lean-back time.  Ah, easy. When surfing the  Web, you make a decision every  10–120 seconds: leave or stay on this page; leave or stay on this site. Where to click now? Where to click next?  Stressful.”

It is obvious the lines between television and the internet are blurring. But in the fou years since this NNG article was written, Televisions have become even more complex, and more lean-forward. In a way, televisions have devolved from their original intention of simplicity and lean-back relaxation.

Bhaalu from Right Brain Interface restores the original lean-back experience television was intended to be, by allowing the user to time-shift programs for non-linear viewing, and offering a simplified user interface for fast and efficient browsing of channel content.

Internet DVR Legal in Singapore

On December 1st, 2010, Singapore has ruled Cloud DVR / Internet DVR / iDVR legal by the highest court on appeal in the case of versus Mediacorp, a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, a wholly owned Singapore government entity that broadcasts the 7 Free To Air Television channels for Singapore. Here is a copy of the court document for this verdict:

RecordTV Judgment – InternetDVR Ruled Legal by concerned-citizen

Bhaalu Raises S$10 Million

Right Brain Interface nv, the software company behind bhaalu, a new and intuitive TV viewing experience, is working to develop and commercialize a unique video recorder product. A team of top Flemmish investors in Belgium consisting of LRM, PMV, Capricorn Venture Partners, Diepensteyn and Pamica, have joined together to invest EUR 6 million ($7.9m USD / S$10m SGD) of new round capital into Right Brain Interface nv.

The capital increase of EUR 6 million was subscribed by LRM (the Limburg Investment Company) through its ARKIV daughter KMOFIN 2, PMV (PMV), the Capricorn ICT Arkiv, managed by Capricorn Venture Partners (Leuven venture capital provider), Diepensteyn (the holding the family shareholders of Palm Breweries) and Pamica (the investment vehicle of Michel Akkermans, ex FICS and current Clear2Pay CEO and chairman). Other participants of this new round of funding consist of employees, friends and family.


Photo: Mr. Bart Van Coppenolle and Mr. Philip Vandormael

Both RBI (Right Brain Interface) founders, Mr. Bart Van Coppenolle and Mr. Philip Vandormael, also took part in this latest round of investment funding. The two are former executives of Metris and current executive management of Holy Brain, the investment vehicle for RBI.

“After welcoming 500 private beta testers and consumer electronics customers last month, I am very pleased with the amount of support we have received from fellow entrepreneurs and the innovation-loving Flemish society.” – Bart Van Coppenolle, CEO, Right Brain Interface

“The innovative business model of Right Brain Interface’s bhaalu is consumer-centric, but also provides opportunities for the established players in the media landscape with robust IP portfolios. This factor was crucial for our investment. We also appreciate the user-friendly interface of bhaalu ,providing its customers an intuitive way to navigate through a large amount of video data.” – Katrin Geyskens, ICT partner Capricorn Venture Partners

“It is our mission to invest in innovative consumer driven projects with international potential. Our enterprising abilities at Diepensteyn allowed us to enthusiastically participate in this round of financing. The baahlu project from Right Brain is promising, as it guides the consumer in their desire to easily discover new things while immersing them into an experience their personal interests.” – Jan Toye, Managing Director Diepensteyn

Further development & commercialization of bhaalu

The capital raised will be invested in product development and commercialization of Right Brain Interface’s first product, bhaalu. Bhaalu is a unique video recorder that allows viewers to experience the full extent of their scheduled TV programs by recording and being able to watch all of the TV channels they lawfully have access to view. Consumers will be able to choose where and when they want to watch their recorded programs, whether they wish to view on their home television, on a laptop computer or mobile device. Bhaalu consists of an intuitive TV interface, which makes it easy to find TV content, creating a personal TV universe for consumers.

To test drive or purchase a box bhaalu, you can simply register on the website at for Belgiu and for the Netherlands. Bhaalu will also soon be rolling out in Germany, New York, USA and Singapore where interested parties can participate in the pre-launch program.

Full Story Here.

Samsung Acquires Boxee

Boxee just sold to Samsung, and Janko Roettgers of the highly influential tech blog GigaOm asks, “…What does this mean for innovation in the space of internet-connected TVs? And who is going to fill the gap, now that Boxee is history?”. Well Mr. Janko, we have an answer for you, and the answer is… Bhaalu from Right Brain Interface!

Boxee sold for just under $30m, according to Haaretz, stating:

…for tens of millions of dollars, but for less than the $30 million that was originally invested in the company… Samsung will keep Boxee’s 40 employees on the payroll. Half of those workers are in Israel.

Boxee will soon cease to exist as a separate brand, now that the team will begin working on Samsung products. Furthermore, Boxee’s cloud DVR service will soon be discontinued, as the company announced yesterday on its website.boxeebox
Full Stories:
and here:

Live TV versus VOD Statistics

live-tv-agesA recent study by ThinkBox shows that Live TV still satisfies most viewers needs. VOD caters more towards viewers who want private and personalized TV. The study found that there are predominately 6 reasons why users watch TV, they are as follows: unwind, comfort, connect, experience, escape, indulge.

“All respondents owned a smartphone and 46% owned a tablet and nearly  three-quarters watched VOD content at least once a week. This compares with the  52% of the UK who has ever watched VOD. Yet this pales into the background  compared with live TV which UK viewers watch 90% of the time.

The survey found that the live TV experience satisfies human emotional needs  that on demand viewing alone can’t. By contrast VOD excels at satisfying  personal approaches to TV, specifically indulging and escaping, but was is less  equipped for more social needs such as unwinding and seeking comfort. The survey  found that for 54% of the occasions people watch live TV they are with someone  else compared to 30% for VOD. And for viewers who want to connect and feel like  they are sharing a TV experience with the outside world, then live TV was judged  by far the best way.

Bhaalu and the Internet of Things

What is the Internet of Things and how is that of significance to bhaalu?

Think of the number of people on the planet (7 billion) that are now connected because of technology and the Internet. Now think of the number of devices that are connected to one another? How many do you suppose there are?

The number of devices on the planet outgrew the number of people back in 2009. Today, more than 2 devices per person. By 2020, when the world population is predicted to be 7.5 billion, and it is estimated that there will be 7 devices per person, 50 billion connected devices total.

Where there’s growth, there is business opportunity, and that is precisely why bhaalu is positioned in the right place at the right time, as the consumer electronics device market is predicted to be a 445 billion dollar industry by 2020.

“We are moving into a new era in connectivity where we will see the proliferation of billions of connected devices in the world. Most of that growth is coming from machine-to-machine: a new market for communications service providers, and with new dynamics,” says Jim Morrish, Director at Machina Research. “The way that mobile operators, device vendors, service providers and others in the value chain react to this opportunity will have important implications for their future success. Right now, the mobile industry has a clear opportunity to play a central role in the Connected Life.”

Bhaalu is a collaborative cloud DVR. To the consumer, that means it allows total control of their TV in terms of time-shifting and place-shifting their television viewing experience. But there are added benefits, such as each family member being able to customize their channels in order of personal favorites, while being able to easily recommend and respond to TV programs through existing social media channels.

But behind the scenes, there’s a lot more to the bhaalu box that the consumer is even aware of. The term “collaborative” in “Collaborative Cloud DVR” simply means that each bhaalu box TV device, is connected to other bhaalu boxes, forming a network of devices, which will offer tremendous advantages.

Brian Proffitt of ReadWrite Web does an excellent job of explaining the future Internet of Things and some of these advantages.

“Stronger and more widely used protocols used by more devices could create an “Internet of Islands,” in Reinhardt’s turn of phrase. Devices within a room could communicate directly with each other, the home and then their neighborhood. Data would stay in these smaller domains, speeding services and bolstering privacy…. Once you’ve empowered different devices to communicate freely with other machines, automated systems can start to learn what’s going on in the world around them and adapt to human needs. Too bad current technology trends and near-term economics aren’t exactly paving the way for it.”

So what does this all mean? It means that Right Brain Interface, with its introduction of the bhaalu home device for television, has ultimately developed an archetype for what will be a total Home Media Center, a comprehensive entertainment center positioning the family big screen in the living room as centric to what will be an elaborate connected hub of devices.

Belgian Entrepreneur Max Heilbron describes bhaalu’s partnership with Belgian entrepreneur Max Heilbron. This is an English translation of the original article, which was written in Flemish.bhaalu-sluit-partnership-met-telecomondernemer-max-heilbron

Bhaalu, the new TV viewing experience from Flemish start-up Right Brain Interface, has partnered with telecom entrepreneur Max Heilbron, who recently acquired several Photo Hall stores in Belgium. Bhaalu allows the viewer to choose when and where they watch television, even programs from up to 60 days in the past.

Consumers can now experience the unique TV viewing device first-hand, as Photo Hall stores in Ghent and Leuven, Belgium allow customers to test out the product in-store.

Cooperation with Max Heilbron for 4G LTE

The synergy between telecom entrepreneur Heilbron and bhaalu is clear.  Max holds a 4G LTE license through his company b • lite, and the strength of 4G LTE is its superior video streaming ability, which explains Heilbron’s partnership with bhaalu. Today, Photo Hall shops provide 3G and fixed line internet for TV, audio and other home devices.

Through bhaalu’s startup project in the Photo Hall stores in Ghent and Leuven, consumers will now be able to test the bhaalu viewing experience using a unique home-in-shop concept.

You can order the bhaalu box online at or pick it up at one of Photo Hall’s stores.

Telecom entrepreneur Max Heilbron: “I like to penetrate markets – that’s just what bhaalu does, and 4G LTE is our card to play. A free telecom market needs 4G LTE as well as bhaalu.”

Bart Van Coppenolle, CEO, Right Brain Interface: “Our partnership with Photo Hall allows people to test the bhaalu experience with our home-in-shop concept in Leuven and Ghent. We have revolutionised not only TV experience but also the retail distribution model.  People don’t just walk into the shop and pick up their box.  They come in and experience both the wonder of bhaalu TV and the personal service of Photo Hall.”

Home-in-shop experience concept coming soon to Singapore. Stay tuned!

Original article at

Bloovi Interview with Bhaalu Founder

Bhaalu is making headlines in Europe with two recent announcements on The first article is an interview entitled Belgian startup, Bhaalu, launches new way of watching television.


Bhaalu, a new way of watching television, launches soon. Bhaalu is a startup from the Belgian Internet entrepreneur Bart Van Coppenolle. Bloovi asked Bart a few questions about this new project, the following is an English translation of the Interview which was conducted in Flemish.

How can bhaalu differentiate themselves from competitors?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: Bhaalu offers the viewer the only truly relaxing and enjoyable TV experience. We have the domain expertise required to design a user interface for television that is specifically based on neuropsychological findings and neuropsychological our own patented technology. Our working knowledge and experience in this subject is much more scientific than any other TV experience vendors in the marketplace.

So, simply put, once person uses bhaalu, they will never be able to go back to the rest of the traditional television experiences. Aside from our neuropsychological and technological experience, we also have a lot of collaborative DVR technology patented, such as the technology that is necessary in order to make catch-all TV, TV Anywhere, and TV Everywhere.

What is bhaalu?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: Bhaalu is a product that allows the user to watch what they want, when they want and from whereever they want. To get an idea of what bhaalu is, you can check out the following video:

Bart, can you tell us why you started with the bhaalu project?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: I’m an entrepreneur, but also a philosopher, so you’d best be served not to ask me such questions. ;-) But if you want to hear the answer; bear with me… The modern era, with the invention of the steam engine, the car and the plane, etc.., it was a time of oppression of the mind of man by rational thought. It was and is still so today.

We live in a time of need, of coercion, mental killing, the killing of freedom and creativity, killing the spirit of mankind. Think of our hectic, alienating lifestlyes. Busy, busy, busy, no time for much of anything.

Television is bad because it makes us lazy, etc. … Linear TV viewing is a child of this oppressive environment. You need to know exactly what time your favorite TV program will be broadcasted otherwise, you miss it. Or, you are forced to re-schedule your day to make time for TV.

This pressure creates anxiety and stress instead of relaxation. Content searches via keyboard and Google TV, or even via a beautifully designed app with text and icons, does not result in an intuitive and relaxing discovery, but rather a stressful and frantic search. During the age of the Internet – through experience and through social media – we’ve changed all that.

It is not about searching, but uncovering; not about working, but relaxing and creating; not about big corporations, but about people; not about selfishness or altruism, but about empathy; not about treating TV consumers as a kind of cattle, but about an empathetic TV experience.

We see it as our mission to contribute common consciousness to the recent societal shift from left brain to right brain; not only in TV land, but also in other parts of society.

After I sold my previous software company Metris, I was with my girlfriend and two children on the sofa watching TV and was surprised by the archaic style of left hemisphere TV navigation. I understood that this was another part of the mind-numbing oppression of humanity by its own left-brained consciousness.

I also saw how a Google TV interface used a keyboard, an inherently left-brained interface. For that reason, my business partner Mr. Philip Vandormael and I founded Right Brain Interface, which after about 2.5 years of development, has introduced bhaalu to the market.

What makes bhaalu unique and different from the TV services that already exist?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: To begin, bhaalu is not a TV service, but more like a moden day VCR. We have chosen the Right Brain Interface, the software interface with our common intention to bring consciousness to a VCR/DVR, A TV with a VCR-like experience, because the most compelling left hemisphere projection, linear time, can be broken up.

You can rewind and fast forward in time. With bhaalu, people can regain their freedom from fear of a linear time break. Freedom is a mind set – you do it yourself. Freedom is not a service that someone else can deliver to you.

But back with two feet on the ground: Bhaalu is different fromany other TV experiences because this technology, if only provisionally, allows the authenticated viewer access to a universe of personal video content in which to compile all of the content that he / she is entitled to.

It is independent of time and place, and it provides virtual personal and social channels, each with their own time and recommendation dimensions. Summed up in a slogan: “Bhaalu is my Catch-All TV Everywhere”.

Are you afraid that larger players such as Apple, Netflix or Telenet mightcome up with a similar solution?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: No, innovation and creativity always arises within small teams. Apple is the only large company that has used small, entrepreneurial and creative teams to drive innovation.

My last company grew the same way, and was sold to a very large company, so I know what I’m talking about. We’ve also had our inventions patented, and we will rigorously defend them in court if required to do so. And by the way, we do not have an app – WE are the platform to which other apps will later be able to plug in and build upon.

How does bhaalu differ from its competitors?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: Bhaalu offers the viewer the only truly good TV experience. We have designed the experience to be specifically based on neuropsychological findings and patented neuropsychological technology. The bhaalu TV experience is much more scientific than any other TV experience on the market, so once people use bhaalu, they will not look at television the same way again.

Besides neuropsychologically-based technology, we have also patented collaborative DVR technology, which is necessary in order to provide “catch-all TV Everywhere.”

Recently there was a lot of commotion about banning the practice of skipping over TV advertisements. Bhaalu is committed to offering a fast-forward function for its ads. What is your view on these problems?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: The delayed viewing of video content falls under consumer law, so the Flemish Parliament doesn’t have to change anything about it [Editorial Note: Singapore law is the same in this regard]. The ability to skip ads and view them later is a key feature, and we have that feature in bhaalu. You can skip annoying advertisements and view them at a later time where they don’t interrupt your current show.

However, there is a tacit agreement between the commercial broadcasters and the community that while these stations broadcast free content, they must broadcast advertisements as well. But, also in this agreement, the viewer can skip up to 60 minutes of commercials, building a sort of commercial “debt.”

The viewer then pays the debt by looking at interesting personalized advertisements or by paying money to not view them. Thus, the rights of the TV viewer and the rights of the commercial channels are respected, and without law (or media decree) having to be changed.

TV thrives on advertising, but the viewer gets the chance to skip through commercials. After a while, however, the viewer is still required to look at them. How user friendly is this feature for the consumer and the advertiser? Does this not frustrate both parties?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: Viewers are disallowed from skipping through ads only after they surpass their 60 minutes of advertising credit. Afterward, it is just like watching regular TV. Even if there are ads between two films, viewers can check their Facebook or e-mail, or whatever they normally do during ads.

It’s really more relaxing than frustrating. For advertisers, this approach holds the advantage in that we can deliver much better statistics. We know which ads are the most effective and get the most views. And above all, we can personalize the ads based on viewers’ selections and desires. With this system, the rights and interests of all parties are reconciled without frustration.

Should marketers think about product placement or other alternatives?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: They do not have too, but may want too. Not out of fear, however, but out of desire; not by coercion, but by freedom of choice. In a perfect world, I think good marketers want beautiful, creative and seductive advertisements where the viewer doesn’t feel the need to skip through it.

You have already built a lot of experience in the startup world. What tips would you recommend for budding entrepreneurs?

Mr. Van Coppenolle: Dare to dream and work hard.  Blame no one, not even yourself. Never force anyone, but do everything to enforce your desired result. It is the subject of my next book.

Right Brain Singapore at TechCrunch Meetup

It was a fantastic conclusion to a great event. MOA, Singapore’s finest New Zealand Bar and Grill, in Changi Business Park was the venue of the TechCrunch Singapore Meetup following Echelon 2013, the largest Tech Startup Conference in Singapore. Silicon Valley-based TechCrunch writer Josh Constine and Asia Pacific based writer Victoria Ho were available to meet with entrepreneurs and listen to startup pitches, over a drink or two.


Photo courtesy of Ryan Tan at Red Airship

Jeffrey Hock, Managing Director of Right Brain Interface Asia had the opportunity to meet up with Josh Constine, formerly of Facebook and current technology journalist at Techcrunch specializing in deep analysis of social products. Whom better than Josh to discuss bhaalu, a game-changing Social Television device.

Kudos to Techcrunch for a great afterhours meetup, and to Echelon for an overall successful event.