When the best TV is distributed over IP, we’ll need a way to quickly and seamlessly watch it in the living room. How about that Internet-enabled console already sitting beside your TV? There’s no question that Microsoft has long recognized the media-extending potential of the X-Box.
Video Marketplace, which allows Xbox 360 owners to download movies and TV shows via the vidgame console’s Internet connection, already has films from Warner Bros., Paramount, Lionsgate and New Line, and TV shows from CBS, NBC Universal and MTV Networks. Fox has signed up as the newest partner, and the two are launching with “Family Guy,” Variety reports.
This is all good and well. Video should be distributed over IP, but the problem with most media-extending devices, like Apple TV, Mvix, and XBox, is that they are closed. The power of the Internet and of Internet TV is content that is open, unencumbered and free-flowing. Jeremy Allaire, founder of Brightcove, has said that Internet TV will ‘look like the Internet’ (I heard him say this at a conference, otherwise I’d hyperlink to the source).
My dream is a media extending device or desktop video aggregataor that will combine the openness of the Internet with the passivity of channel-surfing with a remote. VeohTV is hard at work on such an interface but, so far, the experience falls way short.
In the meantime, a fragmented market will continue to flourish. This “deal likely marks the first step in a broader relationship between Fox and Microsoft to distribute TV shows and films.”