June 19, 2007
The first in a series of posts by Tech Digest on the biggest technology trends for the second half of 2007, is about WebTV.
"Let's get one thing clear first. Online TV ISN'T about watching TV on your PC. Well, it is at the moment, because most of the people doing it are geeks like you and me. But in the long term, online TV is about delivering TV through your broadband connection to a proper TV in your living room, bedroom or wherever.
And that's why the next six months are going to be so interesting. The services that early adopters are watching on their monitors now – and there's a lot of them springing up – will be the ones that everybody else is watching on their TVs in a couple of years time."
... The most interesting thing to see in the next six months is how the Big Media companies tackle the area. Thankfully, they're already showing signs of a 'join 'em, don't try to beat 'em in the courts' attitude.
1. Will the broadcasters just shovel their existing shows online, or will they also come up with original programming ideas that capitalise on Web 2.0 features?
2. Will TV 2.0 provide a platform for quirky, niche shows to get a wide audience? And will amateurs come up with great TV ideas beyond the obvious 'ooh, I set my testicles on fire' Jackass knock-offs?
3. If the new series of, say, Lost is airing on US TV, will it be streaming online at the same time? If so, can I watch it in the UK, even though it's not airing on regular TV for a few months? And if so, what's the point of Sky paying millions for it as an exclusive?
4. Where is Google and YouTube in this new world of TV2.0? Will YouTube expand to offer long-form programmes, or will Google buy Joost or Babelgum?
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