The Year of Connected TV continues…
These are exciting times to be in. The mother of all tech mergers finally took off in 2010 in what will be known in history as the year when the internet officially married the TV. The much-hyped Google TV launch came hot on the of Apple TV’s Phoenix-like rebirth. Both aim to bring content from the web straight to the TV. So which business model will truly reign supreme? Search-based web content and video or pure video on demand?
Google, in particular, is making waves with its ability to aggregate search-based content on a TV screen. Like Google’s video says :“If the web is so smart and our TVs are so fun to watch, why do we have to choose?” The idea of ‘search’ on TV is great and I do love their picture-in-picture feature. But I keep asking myself if they’re really solving a problem or inventing one so they can apparently solve it for our benefit? Maybe I’m wrong.
For sure, Apple TV had a premature start in 2006 before coming to a stuttering halt but I’m pretty keen to see where their 2010 revenue figures are heading. Having tried the new device I just love the ease of use too and how it caters to movie-lovers.
There’s a mix of both too. Sony Playstation 3 actually made a better start with a fully functioning media centre and a real threat to Apple itself. With the PS3, one could easily store – and later play – photos, videos as well as the games. Plus, it was Blu-ray to boot. The real starter was its built-in browser which allowed me to shift from the game Endwar to watching a YouTube video posted by some fans, to then watch a recent photo album. I could stream content from my P1 wireless modem directly to my PS3 console. Sure, I had to switch AV inputs to go back to a Blu-Ray movie or traditional TV but it didn’t seem a big deal to me. I got my content needs anyway, right?
Out of the three big players above, it seems hard to see who’ll get the biggest reception (and revenue lead) from a TV audience. My bet is that the experience closest to TV will seem more efficient and familiar to what I feel are audiences still tied to TV’s concept as broadcast before unicast. So Apple TV has my bet for now.