Microsoft Finally Copying Apple’s Set-Top Box
Microsoft Corp. and its hardware partners are trying to bridge the divide between home computers and TV sets this holiday season with the release of several “media extenders.” These TV set-top boxes will connect wirelessly to computers running the Home Premium or Ultimate flavors of Windows Vista and enable users to use their TV sets to watch movies, TV shows and Internet video that is stored on their computers.
The problem with “convergence” technologies is that while more of our media are becoming trapped on our computers, do people like grandma really want to spend the time to hook up the finicky things to their TV set? Perhaps one day when computers are as reliable as VCRs (Tivo anyone?) they will. But in an age when you can hook your iPod or even iPhone up to the TV to watch video, why spend so much effort trying to hook up a Windows computer?
Dedicated hardware always wins in the end (even if that dedicated hardware is just a software computer in disguise).
The Unions are Coming
What happens when the cost of producing web content begins to match or surpass that of traditional TV content?
“This is another sign that the Internet is maturing into a productive distribution channel for professionally produced content,” said Doug Allen, the union’s national executive director.
There is no surer sign in the death-of-TV than the fact that unions will cease to allow pay/benefit distinctions that give favorable (i.e. cheaper) rates to web content. Makes one wonder what the looming Hollywood strikes are really all about, doesn’t it?
The TV-ocalypse is upon us!
Sometimes you read two stories in a row...and the BBB blog posting practically writes itself. First read about a new MTV show built around selling deodorant and follow it up by reading this article about a poll that says people think TV is “getting worse”:
Next week, MTV plans to air “The Gamekillers,” a new series created by Unilever to promote Axe antiperspirant. Subtle references to the Axe brand are placed in the show. Facing intensifying competition for advertising dollars from the Web, TV execs “need to please advertisers.”
[...and then from the followup article...]
Some 62% of Americans say television programs are getting worse, says a poll by the Associated Press and AOL Television. More than 70% believe there are too many reality shows. “I’m not entertained by watching people eat spiders,” says Jeanie Peterson, 59, of New Orleans.
Seems like everyone is hating TV these days. If the advertisers are upset, the networks try to please them but then the viewers get upset. The problem here is that at the end of the day, advertisers and audiences are always going to be in conflict: auds want free content and advertisers won’t pay for it if they can’t get their messages in everyone’s face.
The TV-ocalypse is upon us!