November 20, 2008

Cable 2.0 Is (Finally) Upon Us

Filed under: TV,Video — @smokejumper @ 10:46 pm
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View this blog post “Cable 2.0 Is (Finally) Upon Us” on my new blog site at

Interesting coverage out the SJ Mercury News today about web video developing into a viable alternative to cable tv.    This is very much in line with my post early last month “Why I’ll leave cable t.v. behind . . . .”

With the entry of Sling, joining other sites such as Hulu, Joost, Veoh and others, most of what is available on cable is now available on the web.  Now I can watch my favorite shows:  The Office, Prison Break, Law & Order, Brothers & Sisters, ER, House, The Daily Show and Colbert Report . . . when I want.
The only major hurdle is that I can’t easily watch them on my TV.  And watching on the 13″ screen of my MacBook after I’ve been on it all day is not joyful.  Worse is attempting to watch on my iPhone.  That will change and when it does I won’t miss cable.

October 17, 2008

Online Video Compared to Nascent TV Market

Filed under: Advertising,TV,Video — @smokejumper @ 9:48 pm

View this blog post “Online Video Compared to Nascent TV Market” on my new blog site at

TechCrunch recently covered Chad Hurley, founder of YouTube, and his keynote address “A Brave New World – The Future of Managing Content” at MIPCOM conference in Cannes, France.

Here is an interview immediately prior his keynote. 

In his keynote, he likens the current state of online video and advertising around it akin to the dynamics affecting the TV industry in the early 1940’s:
  • A small group of innovators introduced a new technology that has the ability to entertain and engage people on a massive scale
  • Advertisers are reluctant to risk money on this untested platform
  • Content owners are fearful of alienating their existing audiences and distribution partners
  • [Some] experts hail this new platform as signaling the demise of another (e.g. radio)
He then goes onto to debunk the current value of a centralized distribution model in today’s world.  This is evidenced by today’s consumers who want access to content on PCs, TVs, mobile phones and social networking pages.
None of this is particularly new or earth-shattering as I have discussed recently.  Chad makes reference to the recent study Forrester completed for Veoh Networks looking at how online video engages.  In reaction to that study a number of major network executives agreed that online video was adding to their viewership, rather than cannibalizing it.
However, Hurley puts forward an interestingly broad perspective on the dynamics in the video and content market and appears to make a universal call to throw off the cold war-like vestiges of “old media” vs. “new media” and rather look at it as “one media” with a common purpose:  “to inform, move and inspire the world through information, art and entertainment.

October 9, 2008

Why I’ll leave cable TV behind . . .

Filed under: Internet,TV,Video — @smokejumper @ 6:01 pm
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View this blog post “Why I’ll leave cable TV behind . . .” on my new blog site at

As more and more interesting and relevant video content is available online, I gave pause to ponder why do I need to “program” my DVR and why should I wait for Netflix to show up in my mail box in order to have entertainment in my living room when I’m ready to turn off my brain and decompress? This line of thinking comes at a time when I’m also looking at the myriad of expenses I pay around the house (isn’t everyone)?

I understand why online video holds much appeal – infinite library, “free” (ad-supported models), portability, ease of discovery, sharing with others, always at the ready when I”m wanting to watch (regardless of time, schedules, etc.) While I’ve had to “learn” the benefits of this, others (such as my 17-year-old nephew) never watch TV and wonder why anyone would. Save the exception of some live sporting events, I’m seeing the wisdom in youth.

So why not make the transition to watching all my video on a PC now? Well as much as I love my 13″ MacBook, I’m on it 8-14 hours a day and can’t imagine wanting to spend more time on it. I don’t get wanting to watch video on it – short of perhaps long plane rides (but that’s usually when I clean out email, read a book or sleep). And I will never be one to watch much video, but for short clips and highlights of my beloved Canucks and Sharks (yes I’m a professional hockey polygamist), on my iPhone (or whatever replaces it).

So when will I chuck cable and my DVR box (and the $100 per month bill along with it)? Likely when I can get my hands on a SlingCatcher. I haven’t done a detailed review of its features, but James McQuivey got an early demo. If it works as advertised, I’ll be setting up my “man-cave” complete with SlingCatcher and flat screen TV before the end of the year. My 14-year-old Sony Trinitron and DVR have served me well but must move on.