Archive for May, 2009

Stats on Web-to-TV

An article from marketingcharts.com indicates:

The number of US broadband households accessing web-to-TV content will leap to 24 million – and generate $2.9 billion in revenue from streaming services by 2013

See Web-to-TV Will Penetrate 24M Homes by 2013

This article ties with my last post The Future of Television

The Future of Television??

Just finished reading a Forbes article by Sramana Mitra titled The Future of Television.  She talks about the future business model for television content distribution. She correctly points to a world of video on demand and visits the challenges for ISPs, cable, phone and satellite companies.

The shift that has happened is that consumers now have the control. Their options have increased dramatically and they don’t have to play by all of the old rules.

Visiting my son in his loft in Lawrence Kansas, I saw the beginning of a new wave of content viewing. He has a high speed broadband connection, a Mac-Mini, a 47″ LCD HDTV, a wireless keyboard and mouse and a mini-remote to interact with the Mac-Mini. He is using Boxee.tv which is in alpha to serve up the content.

From boxee.tv:

on a laptop or connected to an HDTV, boxee gives you a true entertainment experience to enjoy your movies, TV shows, music and photos, as well as streaming content from services like Netflix, MTV, Pandora and flickr

What I saw was a very clean interface allowing the user to navigate to various media providers (HULU, Pandora, YouTube, CNet, etc.). Using the mini remote, you can easily go to categories, programs, movies, pictures, music and many other options. The program also allows for a social network where you can see what your friends are watching. The integration of all of these features is quite good for an early stage service.

 

Netflix interface for Boxee.tv

Netflix interface for Boxee.tv

 

 

Going into the video section, especially for TV programs, the list is exhausting. It is in alphabetic order allowing you to select a starting letter on the right side of the screen to see programs beginning with that letter.  There is a search function assuming you know the name of the show.  I found the search and navigation a little overwhelming and lacking. I’m not sure how much of this is my pre-programming to think about channels and not about programs.

Some of the content was not as clear as hoped for, but I suspect this will improve over time.

 

Video Sub-Menu on Boxee.tv

Video Sub-Menu on Boxee.tv

 

 

The dramatic shift is away from channels and to content. The tool needs more refined search and categorization. I do think it offers so much more and gives the user complete control. 

The maturation of services like Boxee.tv and HULU will leave many considering dropping their cable, boosting up their broadband speeds and going to a complete “on-demand” environment.

I look forward to your comments and insights.

 

-Andy

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