Television 4.0

October 20th, 2010

During breakfast one morning I was sat watching the TV and thinking 'What would the television be like if it were reinvented now?'.

I thought, well, it would probably include some of these:

  1. able to easily see ratings (industry side)
  2. socially networked, e.g. see who else recommended which programme
  3. the benefits of HD, digital and high refresh rates (think Retina Display broadcast quality)
  4. in-built storage
  5. an internet connection with some sort of browser, access to YouTube, Vimeo and all that
  6. console add-ons

Then lo and behold we're introduced later in the month, in our Professional Studies lecture series, to YouView. In case you don't want to click on the link, YouView is a black box that sits alongside (or perhaps, replaces) your other boxes and gives you access to Freeview and catchup services. I asked what they forecast it's adoption to be like and they said it would be about a year or two for early adopters and a decade for widespread adoption.

Wow. A decade! That's a long time. And when you think about how much television has changed in the last 10 years (3D television in 2000, anyone?) I can see this being overtaken. Don't get me wrong, it looks sweet but either it's going to sell much faster than they expect or it'll have some fundamental flaw and something like Google TV or Apple TV will take over (you may notice a subtle use of Rob Hawkes' bouncing balls on the logo there).

It's main strength is undoubtedly how many partners it has, though. And familiarity, older generations or less tech-inclined won't want a new Sony TV set or don't have the necessary connections for Apple TV and simply want something that will plug and play, like we're experiencing now.

I guess in that sense it's bad timing, if they managed to roll this out just a year or two before it would have grabbed the adopters as the UK switches to digital, I guess the people in London designing it thought everyone was going over in 2012, maybe!


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