L.A. is getting yet another entertainment Web site, but this one hopes its memorable name will distinguish it from the pack not to mention help it avoid the fate of some of its flailing brethren.

In development since early this year, all-purpose television site Television.com will begin beta testing this month. The Santa Monica-based company plans to officially launch Aug. 16.

Unlike some sites that have launched with a splash after months of secrecy (Business.com comes to mind), Television.com is touting in advance the features that will be available on the site.

Through original content and links to other sites, Television.com will allow viewers to preview clips from current and past shows and commercials, buy books and other television-related goodies, and even watch original TV-like entertainment content.

With so many entertainment sites already on the scene, and with so many of those struggling to survive as the market turns cold on dot-coms, Television.com is not launching at the best of times. It does, however, have a name that everybody can relate to.

"With Television.com, we have a brand name that only needs to be seen or heard one time to be remembered forever," said Andrew Miller, president of Marketvision Direct Inc.

Boston-based Marketvision joined with Steeplechase Media, based in Santa Monica, to co-found the new company.

The firm's management team has significant television experience, including CEO Larry Namer, one of the original founders of E! Entertainment Television, and vice president of content Jill Schwartz, who helped develop shows such as "Family Feud" and "What's My Line?"

Whirlwind Deal for Tornado

Who says there's a tech shakeout? A few local high-tech companies continue to win enormous rounds of venture capital funding.

Tornado Development, an El Segundo-based company offering "unified messaging" technology, will announce June 12 that it has received $30 million in funding from various sources.

Unified messaging is a system that collects all messages voicemail, e-mail, faxes and pages and allows them to be accessed through just one of those formats. For example, the system will convert text messages into a voice message that can be accessed through a voicemail box. Or, a user can check all messages via e-mail, because the system can convert voicemails and other messages into text.

Tornado Development does not offer these services to individual end users. Instead, it is providing the technology to large businesses (such as telephone companies or Internet service providers) that in turn offer the services to individuals.


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