Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Coming to a living room near you

It's rather strange that the net hasn't really reached the living room. Of course it is possible to connect your TV to your computer and watch web TV and so on but it's an exception rather than the rule. The stereo system may have disappeared but the TV is still king of the living room strictly tied to proprietary cable or satellite technologies. The problem is that many of us are getting increasingly bored with the often predictable and limited content available via satellite and cable companies (see Springsteen's famous song "57 channels and nothing on"). Sadly there are very few TV shows that can get the whole family assembled around the TV as we did in the past. Even when we do so there's often one in the family also on a laptop communicating with friends. When is the net going to take over the living room?

The battle is just starting according to an article called Who will own the living room? on Techi. Not surprisingly the main aspirants are Apple, Google, Microsoft and Sony. The problem is how to get all the content of the web streaming into your living room and who will control that access. Is there a future for TV channels or will we move over to purely on-demand services where you can access any film or sports event you want for a certain monthly subscription (or not)? Will we get some kind of Spotify/iTunes solution for movies/sport/news/shows and you watch whatever you want whenever you want it?

We still haven't really got used to the idea of accessing the net via the big screen in the living room. It'll take time to change habits and the TV companies will not give up their dominance easily. First of all we need high speed and reliable broadband acces for all before anything serious is going to happen and that's still a far-off vision in many countries.

No comments:

Post a Comment