The NewTeeVee Live conference in San Francisco this week reinforced the dramatic changes headed our way — whether it be TV, movies, or web television, 2010 promises to be an interesting (and confusing) year for content delivery.
Regardless of your industry bias, whether it be to Silicon Valley technology, managed networks, consumer electronics manufacturing, broadcast, or Hollywood, there is no fighting the fact that the ‘convergence’ we’ve been touting for over a decade has finally arrived. The playing field is packed with exciting offerings, but sorting through these choices — and understanding the relative advantages of each — promises to be a bit challenging to the average consumer.
The options are myriad, but here are some selected highlights to illustrate the breadth of offerings on the field:
- Boxee – CEO Avner Ronen announced that the company is launching its first set-top box in early 2010 and is developing new content channels through partnerships.
- Comcast – The cable giant is about to start rolling out the ability for subscribers to view content online through Fancast, in addition to viewing on their TV – with mobile device viewing available at some point soon. (This is the industry’s TV Everywhere concept. And let’s not forget Disney’s soon-to-be launched ‘Keychest’ technology, which also enables this trans-media content delivery vision.)
- Roku – A new version of this popular set-top box for viewing Netflix movies on your TV screen is on the horizon, and an expanding lineup of content partnerships (including Revision 3) is moving ahead.
- Vizio – This consumer electronics manufacturer, with distribution through Costco and other retail channels, is now offering integrated VIA (Vizio Internet Apps) Internet-enabled TV models, which use Yahoo’s widget platform to access online content from various providers, including movie services from Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, and Vudu.
- Hulu – Though a Hulu rep didn’t speak at the conference, they were of course discussed. This entertainment industry-backed Internet TV site (minus CBS) is drawing huge audience numbers and is rumoured to be introducing a paid subscription service soon to help their investors monetize their content. This remains a pureplay Internet viewing offering.
For Geeks, this is an exciting time to be alive. So many choices to experiment with. But for non-Geeks just wanting to watch a Web TV show or movie they want to see, they’ll need to ponder, “should my computer be my TV or should my TV be my computer,” and make their entertainment operating system investment strategy from there.