Monday, September 18, 2006

Is Television New Media?

Almost but adoption is some way off.

I am tempted to post about this because of Kevin Anderson's post yesterday. In it he describes what is in the pipeline and discusses opportunities for the medium.

The sentence that sticks out for me is his comment: "I watch a lot of video, just not a lot of TV."

He time shifts, he selects what he wants to see when he wants to see it. He references Tom Coates post: Social software to set-top boxes:

Imagine a buddy-list on your television that you could bring onto your screen with the merest tap of a 'friends' key on your remote control. The buddy list would be the first stage of an interface that would let you add and remove friends, and see what your friends are watching in real-time - whether they be watching live television or something stored on their PVRs.

The fact that we are at the mercy of TV type thinking by the TV industry now does not mean that this will not change. Partly this is because TV audiences are dwindling and time watching TV is shrinking.

I think there is resistance built into the system.
The TV we watch is box in the corner that is not a computer.
It seems all too easy to muck up current TV settings when trying to enhance TV options.
The hand controls are designed by Martians.
The interface is not familiar.
We do not know the options that are available because it is such a pain to find out what they are.

All this may explain why TV audiences are declining and may be why there will be change in the near future and not long term.

The announcement that Google is talking to Apple about supplying video clips for Apples's iTV device may be a move to engage the digitl bit of digital television. This lets users watch video content stored on their desktop PC or their home TVs. Google's consumer product chief, Marissa Mayer, told Newsweek that the two companies are "engaged in talks". The iTV device is a video streaming player which uses wireless technology to play video on a TV.

TV as we know it will keep rumbling on like newspapers and fax machines. But there are alternatives that will be exciting for more than few Geeks.