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Project Leap hopes to hop into your TV screen, source-agnostic VOD in tow

Sean Hollister
06.11.10
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Last year, Bittorrent portal Vuze allowed you to push downloaded video directly to game consoles and iDevices, sure, but the company's latest product promises to let you pull media from the internet and any network-connected device right to your TV. Dubbed "Project Leap," the application lets you simply type in the name of a film and searches your local computers, attached storage, Amazon, Hulu and Netflix databases for a match, after which point you can play, add it to your queue, begin instant streaming or purchase (if need be). The program pulls up a widget-like selection of additional data as well, including Rotten Tomatoes reviews and YouTube trailers, and those who enjoy company with their digital celluloid will be happy to hear to hear Twitter, Fandango and live internet chat might make appearances as well.

Though we didn't get hands-on for ourselves, the scrolling, card-based interface seemed plenty polished in its present, five-button (up, down, left, right, ok) iteration -- the challenge now is to find a device manufacturer who'll build it into a set-top box or connected TV. Vuze CEO Gilles BianRosa said he might settle for it becoming a Google TV app or Yahoo widget itself, but only if the final combined product was simple; no offense to septuagenarian matriarchs, we're sure, but he told us it must be "grandmother" easy. While he said he's already received interest from unnamed consumer electronics companies, the product will launch one way or another -- even if Leap doesn't land in embedded hardware quite yet, a beta will be available in September for Mac and PC.

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