What Internet TV needs

So I was true to my word and turned off Foxtel in my home. Instead I now have a Sony web enabled TV, and an Apple TV. Both of which do not have any on going monthly charges, but movies and TV shows can be purchased on demand – pay for what you use, not to keep a ‘network’ afloat – just the way I like it.

But the truth is that this TV set up is very labour intensive. It’s not as seamless as cable TV is. Firstly, the usability is not great. We all agree IPTV has a way to go to solve the usability problem (just like smart phones did). Maybe it will be the domain of smart entrepreneurs who develop apps that cut across all web enabled TV’s to give a more seamless, yet personalised viewing experience? If someone out there plans to do it – here’s what it needs:

So here’s the things it really needs:

  • Smart phone enabled control pads / remotes.
  • Aggregation sites which curate content from places like Youtube and other video sites to give a ‘network style experience’.
  • Curation of longer videos on the web – videos that run for less than 20 minutes are annoying.
  • History pattern suggested shows to view – genius style.
  • Geo located news & viewing experiences.
  • Full access to all studios output, not just manufacturer based deals.

Just like web search has become. The TV needs to be agnostic about where the content comes from and just deliver what people want. Once this happens, TV will never be the same again.

* On a side note. Our house now has about 90% of it’s viewing time allocated to Youtube. Full episodes of TV shows, documentaries, music video and kids shows are all available and free here. We use the Apple TV and the iPhone as the remote. it works very well.


4 Comments What Internet TV needs

  1. Leon Sammartino

    I love this, in fact this might be our best ‘television is dead, the skies are falling’ post ever.

    I particualarly like the shortcomings you found….

    •Smart phone enabled control pads / remotes.

    This exists, in fact just yesterday was was watching a video from Sony showing how smartphones work with their TV, is it possible your capital ‘investment’ in a TV is already outdated? If only you had rented Foxtel, you could upgrade for free when better versions came out

    * Aggregation sites which curate content from places like Youtube and other video sites to give a ‘network style experience’.

    You mean you want someone to tell you what to watch? This is exactely why Broadcast has been so sucessful, people do actually want to be told what to watch.

    •Curation of longer videos on the web – videos that run for less than 20 minutes are annoying.

    You mean, like a television program? I argee it is a pain having to control the experience and interact with the TV every couple of minutes, Television is a lean back medium, it’s mean to be relax, for a hunting expedition.

    •History pattern suggested shows to view – genius style.

    You mean, like a television channel. Say you love surfing, or AFL football, wouldn’t it be great to get a channel that found all the best football matches or surf tournaments, and played them?

    •Geo located news & viewing experiences.

    You mean like a Melbourne news bulletin airing in Melbourne, that would never catch on. Or a service were the Foxtel box knows your postcode and you can press a red button to get local news and weather. That’s just pie in the sky crazy talk that is.

    •Full access to all studios output, not just manufacturer based deals.

    Well if only you didn’t invest all that money in hardware.

    As a matter of interest how much did this Television/Apple Box and super quick internet (although I assume you already had) cost you? I’m curious to know where the break even point is versus $50 a month for Foxtel and your existing television. My guess is it’s somewhere near 3 years, plus then you have to pay on demand on the internet TV

    Maybe you should have rented it – can I suggest http://www.rentoid.com ?

  2. Steve Sammartino

    I knew you’d like this post…. and your retorts are quite good.

    But TV is only dead becuase while we figure out these bugs, they are doing what they have always done. In case you missed it – Foxtel has been turned off, and is not going back on any time soon.

    The Apple TV was $109. Web I already had. So no extra. And the TV cost me $1000. But my old TV a cathode ray box broke down after 10+ years of use. So The only ‘real added cost was $109 on the Apple TV. I needed a TV. So my break even is 2 months.

    Seems you missed the last comment – that Youtube is now 90% of my viewing time.

    By the way – just coz I’d like a network TV experience, doesn’t mean I want a network of wasted crap. The key point is that I’m not keen on paying for 100 channels when I watch two of them.


  3. Leon Sammartino

    Actually you could have bought a non interenet tv for about $500 (easy) so your cost is about $600, or close enough to 12 months.

    I don’t disagree with what you are saying, except for the fact that you always seem to forget a major thing; You are not normal, and I don’t mean that in a rude way, but you are not, you are more tech literate than at least 90% of people, I’m not normal either, nor are any readers of this blog.

    “normal’ people are those people in the suburbs who get home from work, they don’t want to think about anything, don’t want to search for content, they don’t want to be on. What they want to do is sit on a couch, not have to think and watch the idoit box.

    As a marketer you should know the danger of projecting you own habits and personality onto the market at large.

  4. Steve Sammartino

    Yes – I am not normal…. and most people will continue to watch the idiot box in a passive way until ‘not normal’ people like me and the readers of my blog…. make it easy and way more awesome and disrupt the current system to make it better….. make give people exactly what they want….and probably at a much better price…. that’s how innovation generally works…

    And in short that’s what this blog is about – not marketing in the pure sense, but exploration of what’s next, hence the title.

    – But you are still my fav’ reader Leon. Seriously.

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