Category Archives: tv

Intel is ready to crack internet TV

The Verge has a great piece on the potential for Intel to succeed in their latest digital home initiative…

The fact that Intel doesn’t by and large work in media could be a handicap, but if you stop to reconsider, it potentially gives Intel a huge advantage. Think about it: how was Google ever going to make a deal with Viacom when Viacom was suing Google? How were companies like Google or Yahoo built on selling advertising ever going to meaningfully share data and revenue with other companies built on advertising like TV networks? How were Sony or Samsung ever going to create a smart TV platform large enough to compete with cable when their businesses depended on selling giant multithousand-dollar screens that were only updated every few years? How would Apple, or Microsoft, or Amazon, or Netflix create new deals for live TV with networks when they already had huge businesses in selling digital video in completely different formats? Intel has no conflicts of interest with television; it has no strategy taxes. All it has are years of R&D into hardware for the connected home, a solid history of developing hardware standards and prototypes, and many, many chips built for graphics-intensive, generally stationary devices that badly need somewhere to go.

This has long been an area of interest for me and I hope they succeed here because the industry needs a good kick in the ass.

Standardizing the Second Screen Experience

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I love hearing that there’s a new industry standard being sorted by YouTube and Netflix to promote a more open second screen experience. Right now it’s a bit of a mess and you either go all in with Apple (AppleTV + Airplay + iOS) which only works in certain instances – though absolutely works, or you’ve got a set of considerably more limited options. The DIAL Protocol could really offer a very new opportunity for enhanced viewing and app utilization in the living room which is very exciting.

But there are other areas where DIAL actually goes beyond AirPlay’s capabilities. First, the obvious: AirPlay can’t launch any apps on your Apple TV. DIAL will also be able to detect whether an app is installed, and redirect a user to a smart TV’s app store in case it’s missing. Also cool: DIAL will be able to launch web apps on your TV, if the device supports it, which should add a whole lot of new functionality to connected devices.via GigaOm.

Even more interesting is that it’s apparently already out in market, though quietly and waiting to be awakened … I’m surprised there wasn’t more (or any) noise at CES this year … Sony, Samsung, GoogleTV, YouTube and Netflix are a strong start.

Aereo CEO on Bundles and Fees

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More power to Aereo … I’ve played with a demo account and it works quite well. Tempting even.

Ad Age: So broadcasters shouldn’t have dual revenue streams, like cable channels?

Mr. Kanojia: I don’t know their business at all. All I know is the current paradigm is this: They have [broadcast] spectrum. They are required to program in the public interest and to offer it widely for free. You are allowed to have an antenna. There is no prohibition on where you have it; it can be on your roof, your window or 50 feet away; in my computer or in the cloud. Tell me what the dispute is? Because you didn’t see it coming? That is really what it is.

Ad Age: But since fees are so important to broadcast now, why shouldn’t they fight it?

Mr. Kanojia: Technology catches up. When the VCR came out there was the same hyperbole: It’s going to kill television. They made billions. It spawned a whole industry of home video. These technologies [Aereo] are single-cast, they know where you are. I think they are just ignoring that technologies like these are immensely helpful in attracting younger audiences and are helpful in creating new ad models.

via Advertising Age

Roku and TWC

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Time Warner Cable is going to let you use a Roku to access your cable subscription. While this isn’t fully decoupled service it’s still pretty awesome for Roku owners. Being able to do everything through a single box – that’s not your crappy cable box – would be excellent.

“The availability of a service like TWC TV on an open platform represents significant milestones for both Time Warner Cable and Roku as well as for the industry overall,” said Anthony Wood, Roku’s founder and CEO. Unfortunately, there are some restrictions to just how “open” that experience is. Like the TWC TV apps for iOS, Android, and the desktop, compatible Roku hardware will need to be running on a subscriber’s home network to access live TV; you won’t be able to stream your favorite channels remotely. And while over 300 stations will be available, you’ll obviously be limited according to whatever’s included in your cable package. via The Verge

HBO’s new deal, means more of the same

Speaking of TV … In what’s being seen as a very strategic maneuver, HBO has re-upped it’s contract with Universal to ensure it maintains exclusive access to the content – through 2022!

So what does this likely mean for us, the consumer? I’d say more of the same. No way to access HBO beyond extending your MSO relationship. Our household isn’t quite ready to cut the cord, though we certainly find plenty “over the top.”

I suppose things would be radically different if we didn’t have to authenticate first on things like the XBox where Cablevision has yet to cut a deal. We can connect the ESPN application which is quite solid, but there’s no way to add in additional content really beyond the usual sources like Netflix etc and that’s not replacing even the moderately poor TV the family enjoys. Without being able to watch Bravo, I’m never convincing the wife there are alternatives.