The inspiration for Larry Allhands’ company came after his toddling son found his Blu-ray Disc collection and scratched the discs. Allhands said he began looking for a product that could digitize the movies in his collection and play them from his home computer network.
Allhands said he did not find anything that met his needs, so he decided to create his own product. He went to work on the digital media system he and two fellow company founders hope will become the movie library and player of the future.
In September 2011, FIREFX launched in Round Rock. Allhands, his brother Ken and co-founder Dave Putman have been working the past four years to improve the product the team created.
FIREFX is a home-integrated media system that provides a digital media library and a user-friendly interface to access the user’s own movies and TV shows without having to handle sensitive discs.
Allhands describes it as “Apple TV on steroids.” However, unlike Apple TV, Google’s Chromecast, the Roku player or other set-top boxes on the market, FIREFX’s technology is not for streaming content online.
FIREFX stores movies and TV shows on a server in one’s home so that users never encounter the buffering issues that can occur when streaming content from the Internet.
Allhands said when his company started he and his partners were new to the industry, but each had ample experience with information technology systems in the military. Allhands is serving in the Texas Army National Guard. Putman retired in January.
“We came into the industry not knowing anything about the industry, which was a benefit because we weren’t limited by the paradigms that were out there,” Allhands said. “We knew technology.”
Putman said the more the company learned about the available media players on the market the more they realized they could have a successful product with FIREFX. Among its competitors are California-based companies Kaleidescape and Fusion Research, Allhands said.
“Everything out there had a fault that we knew we could improve upon,” Putman said.
In January the company, previously operating out of a space less than 500 square feet, added 1,000 square feet and will increase its space by 2,200 more square feet with a new building addition by the summer. Allhands said the company will hire two additional employees, likely National Guard soldiers, in the near future as well.
3580 Rocking J Road, Ste. 500,