Saturday, October 10, 2009

TV3.0 How watching TV is evolving

For me growing up, TV was in black and white and the first major evolution that I can remember was color (or coming from the UK Colour) TV which added a new visual dimension. Things remained fairly much the same in terms of consuming broadcast content for the next 20 odd years until Tivo came along. Yes you could make the argument that VCR's pre-dated the Tivo but for me I consumed mostly movies on this medium. Tivo allowed me to time shift and it wasn't long before that impacted the way my family and I consumed broadcast TV. I was on the leading edge of the PVR wave and so most of my friends are fairly much caught up now but I am already onto my third evolution of TV and this is really providing a different shift entirely. Not only am I time shifting my viewing I am also shifting geography. For the last two months my wife and I have watched mostly british TV restricting our use of local services to the delivery of live sports and a couple of specific shows, everything else has been from the UK.

The UK content was delivered into the home via torrents and the community is so active that for the popular soaps and drama's we were able to watch them the same day they were aired in the UK. So ok so this is illegal consumption of content but I rationalize it more as a missed business opportunity for the networks and advertisers. I do restrict what I download to broadcast material and would happily pay for it if somebody wanted to deliver it to me as a service (see BBC iplayer) rather than running the whole operation myself as I do today. My setup requires a certain amount of manual selection of shows and the upkeep and maintenance would not be for the naive user. The setup involves an in-home media server which runs the torrent package and is used to download the shows and then distribute within the home. I have a separate 803.11n network to which are attached client devices that can browse and play the content hosted. These clients are running Boxee which is great little integrated client for audio and video that is attached to a community network so my friends can see what I am watching and vice versa. The Boxee clients are connected to HDTVs.

Through this setup I think I have had a glimsp at the next version of TV whereby community (rather than networks) influence what we watch and it will be delivered on a global scale from production houses connected to a peer sharing network with appropriate funding from advertizing and PPV. Waiting to see who does this first....

No comments:

Post a Comment