Friday, April 23, 2010
If your house is anything like our house, you know that "the TV" is in danger of being marginalized. Yes we all love the big screen, but where we get the content is changing dramatically and it's not always easy to get it on the big screen -- because the TV content is now on Hulu, YouTube, Twirl, Netflix and iTunes (and probably several I have not discovered yet).
Yes, you can buy a special box to put under you TV to make it think like a PC - a box like that early toy TiVo, a Roku, an Apple TV (we have several of these) or even your XBox. But in all cases it's not easy, you end up with lots of boxes, cables and remotes and it's a barrier to broad adoption.
Enter the coming era of the Internet TV. I think the solution is going to be through Wi-Fi or by adding a hard wired network connection into the TV.
I'm watching this area in FirstRain because I am frustrated by the complexity of switching devices all the time. Recently Google jumped into the fray, forming a rumored partnership with Intel, Sony and Logitech to create a total internet connected experience around Android (and selling us ads). You have to know Cisco, Apple et al will respond. And what about the cable guys who like to charge an arm and a leg each month for content that is free on the internet?
It's going to be really fun to watch this unfold. It should benefit "the consumer" - that's you and me - but I wonder if it will bring the kids back into the family room - or if they are now so used to watching TV on their Macs and iPhones while lying on their beds that they'll never come back?