We’re not certain what the preoccupation is with TV, but firms beyond the old-fashioned content developers, producers, “shippers” have gone out of their way to say they have the solution you need/want!

Content Insider #153 – Entertainment Everywhere

THE Insider

Content Insider #153 Entertainment Everywhere

1Author: THE Insider

More Content Than Your Mind Can Hold

We’re not certain what the preoccupation is with TV, but firms beyond the old-fashioned content developers, producers, “shippers” have gone out of their way to say they have the solution you need/want!

First, there was the bi-annual IFA conference in Berlin. All of the consumer electronics folks gathered to spin their TV, video, whatever stories and show their wares. 

That was followed by IBC in Amsterdam.  There, the worldwide broadcast industry gathered to figure out how they were going to survive and make money with the growing demand for online video and audio content.

“I've just decided to switch our Friday schedule to Monday, which means that the test we take each Friday on what we learned during the week will now take place on Monday before we've learned it. But since today is Tuesday, it doesn't matter in the slightest.” – Mr. Turkentine, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), Wolper Pictures Ltd.


Then, at IDF (Intel Developers Forum), CEO Otellini proclaimed the world is infatuated with the wonderful possibilities of Smart TV.  September and the mesmerizing world of content everywhere wouldn’t be complete without Nvidia showing off its TV solutions at its  GPU Technology's Conference.

The PC people -- tablet, notebook, desktop, server -- continue to try to figure out how they are going to get into the living/family room. 

They've been trying to be the "content source" for 10+ years, continually spinning the story that this is the year the computer-based solution will really take its place in the family's entertainment. 


But Otellini hasn’t given up on getting the Smart PC connected to the Smart TV. 


Figure 2--See it Now – Intel’s CEO, Paul Otellini (R), explains how SmartTV and SmartPCs will open the world of content to Dadi Perlmutter, Intel’s EVP/GM of it’s architecture group.  Content wasn’t the only round of discussion at this year’s IDF (Intel Developers Forum), but it was a key tipping point for the company. Photo - Intel

He told IDFers, “Our vision is to create a continuum of personal computing experiences that provides consistency and interoperability across all Internet-connected devices in the home, car, office or in your pocket.”

Still hasn’t happened!

Sure, easier systems have made it almost trendy for geeky people and folks who live in studio apartments where the computing, entertainment, dining stations share a corner. 

The new PCs (all flavors) are suddenly very smart, very powerful and very economical, according to some intuitive as to your viewing desires. 

But they still act like computers no matter what type of skin you put on ‘em.

Sure, there’s YouTube’s live-streaming video service, but it’s still sitting on a PC. 

But you get a hint of the array of content…online video talk shows, how-to videos, TV stuff, more. 

Of course networks, Hollywood, cable folks aren’t warm to Google managing their fortunes; but come on guys…all Eric wants is a few cents out of every eyeball view. 

Then again, the late adopters and mainstream people (70+% of the buying public) just won't put the computer in the room where they relax. 

Apple tried with the AppleTV I and II.  Even with Jobs’ sainthood, it is still a "hobby."  

Hard drive people saw the Apple TV and figured what the heck. They've done as well as Apple…they still provide a PC add-on/accessory.


Figure 3--TV to PC to TV – While a lot of work is being done with chips and surrounding hardware to deliver video and shows to your set from the Internet, presently the PC and its supporting network create enough of a problem that people choose TV on their system or a long cable to deliver the content.

They’re as emphatic as Willy Wonka, “But it's the only way if you want it just right.”

The poor set-top "champion" has just about left the building or as Willy said, “Just press a button and *zing*! You're off.”  

Poster child TiVo has shown virtually no growth for a number of years.

New solutions that don’t rely on the cable guy are being made available -- one-time payments, low monthly fees, more features/capabilities/options have given new meaning to “I TiVoed the show.”

Set-top boxes including Boxxee and Roku are expanding their capabilities to include Internet connectivity and that will help them...a little. 


Poor Old TiVo
TiVo and Veruca Salt look at them and say, “They're jealous of me!”

They face a serious struggle for TV-top space with the Wii, PS3, Xbox that are not only already Internet connected but also offer added services like NetFlix. 

Oh yeah, they have a USB slot to add storage capacity if you don't want to watch the show right now. 

As another option you can buy a new TV set with cable, Internet connectivity as well as 3D and … 


Figure 4--Time to Celebrate – Now that SD is dead and you’ve upgraded to an HD screen, it’s time to renew your investment in the next great home viewing solution.   Yes, the industry wants it to include an even newer screen.  Photo -- NYTimes

The idea of dropping $1,000 + on another new set when “good enough” is “good enough,” is tough to justify.

As Willy said, Everybody has had one and one is enough for anybody.”

To give people the streaming content and more, there are some low-cost add-in solutions that work with your wireless networks and simply connect to your present TV set. 

Unlike expensive complete, end-to-end “ultimate” experiences and mish-mash shopping cart stuff, people simply want an inexpensive, easy-to-install and use answer.

You know, one that can be used with any TV set, a natural controller solution and one with the ability to add anywhere, anytime enjoyment.   

As Willy said, “Little surprises around every corner, but nothing dangerous.”

Radio and TV broadcasters are struggling to gain, regain and/or grab more eyeballs.

So with the exception of premium same-day events they’re putting their content on the Internet 

It goes up immediately or, less than 24-hours later, you can download/view when you want.  But it’s still a PC monitor or an Ethernet cable running to the TV. 


Here But…
True WiFi solutions require a little work, but as Willie says, “If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it.”



Figure 5--Streams Everywhere – The Internet and a new breed of web sites are streaming content – professional, indie and home videos – out for people to enjoy or feel sorry about.  The broadcast industry knows tomorrow’s entertainment will incorporate online content.  They are still struggling with the monetization issues.

Streaming without cables is something you can get used to!!! 

The trick with TV content is that stations/networks usually only leave their stuff up for 2-4 weeks, so if you don't want to view it right away, you need to grab it/store it on your hard drive for "later." 

Then too, you want a solution that works at home and on your smartphone away from home. 

PC approaches work O.K. at home. 

The hard drive, set-top units -- again at home. 


Figure 6--Any Screen – People want and expect to be able to grab and enjoy their content on any screen – TV set, PC, mobile device.   Mobile device enjoyment is quickly becoming the screen of choice by GenY and GenI viewers.   Their criteria are when I want, how I want, where I want.

Most of the smartphone streaming content apps work only for the smartphone -- Apple iOS or Android. 

Guess they’re the only folks with time on their hands to watch TV, videos!!! 

Extendable solutions are needed that allow you to seamlessly grab, show the content when/where you want, how you want. 

Some set-top providers offer solutions that "change" the content which can lead to lock-out or “blockages” by content owners/providers. 

Content owners aren't certain how they're going to make money off of the streaming -- serious money that is -- but they darned well are not going to allow Eric or Steve-come-latelies take money out of their pockets. 

Most of the networks and studios have turned a cold-shoulder to Apple's "generous" offer.  They saw how music industry lost control and they’re not going to repeat their mistakes.

But that’s "professional" content. 


Going Live
There’s a dramatic growth in repurposed content, indie and consumer-level video.  The stuff is actually pretty good to look at…as good as most of today's reality shows. 

That stuff is being hosted by and sent out from a variety of audio/video sites including YouTube and a ton of others. 

Do you get the idea that "TV programs" are similarly going to have a challenge from the new front?  

All content viewing is going to change with a mixing and matching of professional and "other" content in the next 12+ months. 

Will people pay subscription fees for the content?  

Some will. 

There’s always a market for pay-for-view serious theater viewing, special events/sporting venues.


Figure 7--Better Message Delivery – Tomorrow’s “television” viewing will be very personalized in content and advertising messages.   Sure, it might bore dogs; but humans have a relatively short memory, so it will be okay.

But the popular stuff will continue to be advertising subsidized. 

Putting up with ads is a small payment with the vast majority of people. 

By streaming over the Internet you're going to be able to view a different breed of ads.  dvertisers will be able to be more personalized in their ads for the individual.

That hasn't been possible before. 

Even with the CW network’s very tight audience profile, they ignore about 60 percent of the audience. 

The cable guy has been able to group ads by specific neighborhoods and fairly broad audience profiles.  That’s still wasting a lot of the advertisers' dollars (and yes your time). 

New software algorithms will change all that. 

The idea is that the stuff profiles your viewing habits but stays only on your system. 

Content sellers and advertisers can then make available a number of ads that precisely fit that viewer's profile and they are rotated for your viewing.   They're less objectionable because they really are of interest to you. 

It becomes fun (O.K., almost fun) to watch the content and the ads. 

The content owner/distributor will get more per view because it is a precise target. 

Your info isn’t shared, everyone is happy. 


New View
You'll never look at "commercial TV" the same way again!

As Willy said, “Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple.”

Chris Anderson’s Long Tail is going to be easier to enjoy.  The cable 250-500 channels will probably stick around for most folks. 

But watch the kids. 

The iGeners (10 and below) won't be able to imagine when they couldn’t watch anything -- 30-minute old finished/quality videos of Tibetan monk ceremonies, drug busts in Mexico, dumb/dumber adults antics, knitting hints and 24 or Lie to Me segments on personal channels that have one segment stacked up right behind the other. 

They're going to "just expect" they will have their own specific channel or two that funnels any/all of the content they want to watch and the rest is blocked out (by their choice).

It won’t be channel 36 or 360.  It will be Jon’s or Mark’s channel(s).


Figure 8--My Content…NOW – GenI viewers, content users won’t wade through tons of network or search hundreds of websites.  They’ll simply sit down and enjoy their own personalized content – material tailored to their wants, needs, desires.  It will become a network of one!

They won’t waste their time having to click through the rest of the garbage to find just the stuff they want to watch it, when they want to watch it, where they want to watch. 

The Internet will play a key role in the TV of the future.   The problem is, it won’t look like a PC the dust settles.

What will it look like?

As Willy said, “I'm sorry, but all questions *must* be submitted in writing.



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