Saturday, 03 July 2010
The technology push to your living room

I've been reading articles about Google TV, Microsoft, Sony, BT, Sky and (now) Apple with interest regarding their push to your living room to put content on your TV.  There's a hell of a lot of content on the web and the age old issue of watching this content conveniently on your TV instead of having to fire up browsers on your PC is a problem none of the big companies appear to have really solved.

Sure you can watch some of Sky's content on your Xbox 360 now. But you won't get all of Sky's content because of content restrictions enforced by content distributors. You also won't get 4OD, BBC iPlayer or the ITV Player on this service. In addition to that you won't get YouTube, Hulu or Joost. Basically there is not one set top box that will give you all of these services through your TV without having to switch or unplug some box out of the VGA, SCART or HDMI slot on your TV. My guess is that Google are trying to address this with their new set-top box idea. Weather it will work remains to be seen, because at the end of the day it doesn't matter how fancy your platform is, content is still king.

Content distributors also hold a lot of sway, they dictate how their content can be distributed. If a channel is distributed via the Internet and over encrypted satellite in the eyes of the content provider they are separate mediums which require separate content rights. Hence Sky's problem of only being able to broadcast some of their Sky 1 shows via SkyPlayer and blocking the channels for the duration of that show for SkyPlayer customers while satellite customers get to view it.

Likewise content providers may give the writes to distribute a show over a streaming Internet Service with the caveat that it cannot be streamed to a service that connects to a TV as this right could have been solved to a terrestrial provider. This arrangement makes things incredibly difficult while all the user wants to do is watch their TV shows in the most convenient way possible.

I wish Google TV every bit of success although I am struggling to see how they will be able to offer the content we want all through one set top box. In addition to this problem when watching a series on TV sometimes people would like to start from the beginning of a series people are all raving on about. Content providers don't make it easy to get to this content and their appears to be a high amount of people using illegal downloads via services such as Bit Torrent to get to this content. The video/TV entertainment industry appears to be out of touch with how people would like to consume their content. The same thing happened in the music industry which saw a huge shift in how music was distributed which lead to services such as Spotify.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a service that held just about every movie, TV series, documentary that had ever been made, made available on demand? You could pay for the content per item or for a monthly fee have access to all of it?

posted on Saturday, 03 July 2010 10:42:38 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Thursday, 18 December 2008
Joost now on Playstation 3!

Okay to anyone in the know this is probably old news by now and the reason I missed this exciting news is I have been locked in a room for 6 months delivering a web site (its pretty cool).

Anyway I got an announcement from Joost today saying that the old Joost client will soon stop working and that I should now watch Joost content directly from the browser. I visited Joost and fair enough all the content was available to view from a browser it then got me think, this all works on Flash right? So it should all been viewable from the PS3's web browser. I hurriedly rummaged around the back of my Xbox, pulled out the fibre optic surround sound cable and plugged it into my PS3 (I had been playing Halo 3 on the Xbox 360 previously). I visited the Joost site and low and behold it works! It also works in full screen! How cool is that I know longer need to plug my laptop into my TV to watch Joost!

Only problems I have had so far is the PS3 sometimes complains about the content not having the correct certificate when I try to click accept it just doesn't highlight the selection and the browser gets stuck so I have to go out and go back into the browser. Other than that its not to bad, however I still get a considerable amount of pauses in the content. It must be my broadband connection not being fast enough (8 megs measured at 6 megs tops) or just a lot of people requesting content?

posted on Thursday, 18 December 2008 14:29:48 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Saturday, 04 August 2007
BBC iPlayer

iPlayer I've long been a fan of on demand TV and IPTV, I think its a brilliant idea to be able to get TV on demand when you want to watch it instead of changing your schedule to fit in the programs you want to watch on TV.  I've been using Sky Anytime PC for a while and have been suitably impressed with the results and then I tried Joost which just completely blew me away. Joost was so amazing, why? Because it just worked you didn't have to do much just install it and turn it on and you were watching TV. I am a strong believer that IPTV should just be a platform and content providers should treat and select platforms such as Joost and treat it the same as any terrestrial method of receiving TV. For example the content providers get paid by adverts in between shows or maybe by subscription mechanisms. Surely the content providers shouldn't lock their content down by network and try and get it through as many platforms as possible, that way everyone benefits. The content providers have a greater audience which in turn equals bigger profits for them?

Anyway I digress... I finally got hold of a BBC iPlayer Beta account and hurried to download the software and install it. Everything went fine until I tried downloading one of the programs and all I got was "We are currently experiencing technical problems, please try again later"....arrrghhh! Not impressed! I tried everything, checked over all the instructions checked the help but there was nothing to help with it. I can see now why the iPlayer has had some bad publicity lately. Anyway I am going to wait and see what happens tomorrow maybe its a one off technical issue?

posted on Saturday, 04 August 2007 22:03:40 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Wednesday, 18 July 2007
My Joost Set top box

pearl Well the only way I am going to get a Joost Set top box is to make my own! All I need is a PC that is nice and thin and looks like a set top box and I found one at CappuccinoPC.com. Now I'll have to find a UK based supplier for this box all I will need next is to install Windows XP and then Joost.

Next I could probably get myself a wireless mouse pointer from global sources and that should sort me out rather nicely with the same functionality of a Wii remote I think.  Oooh I feel another exciting project on the way!

posted on Wednesday, 18 July 2007 20:58:50 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Monday, 02 July 2007
Joost set-top box please

Every now and again I do a Google search and take a look at Joost's blog to find out if they have finally got a set-top box on the way and the only article I have found that seems to be anything hinting at being close is this article.

Gee if they had a set-top box I would be one of the first to get one. The content from my Sky box is lacking even with Sky Anytime. BT's BT Vision also doesn't seem to be much to get excited over and Virgin Media leaves too many strings attached for me. Get your phone with us, mobile and Internet and you can get cable. I think the thing about Joost that appeals to me is the whole simplicity of it. There is no strings attached it just works. Apple TV seems like a great idea as well but where is the content Apple? I don't want to get an Apple TV box just to download music videos.

Come on Joost where is that set-top box?

posted on Monday, 02 July 2007 21:42:34 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]

 Saturday, 09 June 2007
Joost again

Okay I will admit I have become one of those "yuppies" who go on about Joost. I just had an excellent thought about it, why don't they come up with a version of Joost for the Wii console? Wouldn't that be great? I can already watch YouTube videos from my Wii console why not get Joost sorted on a Java applet?

posted on Saturday, 09 June 2007 10:59:43 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Comments [0]