Thursday, January 7, 2010

Delicious Today: When Internet Marries TV

1. Internet Users Embrace TV
"In 2009, 65% of Internet users wanted to connect their TV to the Internet, a 7-percentage-point increase over 2008. Web users across all generations increasingly wanted to watch online content, as well as content on their PC, on traditional television screens."

At a gathering yesterday, a friend of mine told me, with excitement and proud, that her family have figured out how to download movies from NetFlix to their big-screen TV, and really love the convenience and instant gratification of the service. Her description really made me envy. Once I tried watching television shows with a friend from on my laptop. The choice of content was amazing but group watching on a laptop quickly became a physical strain -- we both got a neck ache after 15 minutes. Laptop is definitely not designed for group watching.

But a TV show or movie is so much more enjoyable when we watch it with friends or family than solo. There are some huge advantages in a marriage between the high-speed Internet and big-screen TV:
  • Group watching from the comfort of a sofa.
  • Always something fun to watch without commercials most of the time.
  • With social media applications embedded in the Internet TV (Skype, Twitter, instant message, etc), we can group watch with friends and family who live far away, exchanging comments and recommendations at real time.
  • No more pledge drive interruptions. Public broadcasting stations can run their pitches alongside the show with messages timed with specific moments in the show to achieve the maximum impact.
  • On-screen pledge. No more phone calls or filling out online pledge forms, audience can enter an amount and click a button on their TV screen to make a donation.
  • Less or no pledge drives. If each piece of video content has built-in donation message and button, the pledge becomes constant and there's no need for special drives.
2. Skype: Coming to a Couch Near You
Up to 5 million Skype-enabled TVs will be delivered during 2010. The TV's specially designed web cam can pick up audio from a greater distance, so Skype TV users will be able to remain seated instead of huddling around a microphone.
3. Video-streaming home-entertainment devices proliferate
"A new breed of home-entertainment device can stream movies and more over the Internet and onto a big-screen TV. This isn’t a brand-new phenomenon, but it has accelerated dramatically in the last year or so. Tons of streaming-capable gadgets are now available."

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