Thursday, March 26, 2009

Internet TV

The Cube is right! Internet TV is not likely, at least not for awhile, to blow away traditional TV. I won’t repeat a lot of Mark’s thoughts, but I think he’s pretty much on target here. I do think that there could be more done with Internet type integration, but it’s a long way away, especially in the US.

We have an above average connection to the Internet, 1.5Mbps down, through DSL. Now we live in a semi-rural environment with people that are across the board. No one is likely to invest in fiber to my area, and I’m not sure Wimax will give me a better link. I have neighbors in a new development with 20Mbps down through fiber, I have friends stuck with 256kbps with copper DSL and older DSLAMs, I have people getting around 1Mbps through Microwave, friends on dial-up, and others that use 5ft satellites, no Internet, and land lines.

Even with my connection, the streaming downloads from DirecTV through the Internet are too slow. I can start an PPV now, or in 30 minutes, or I can wait while something takes > 30 minutes to download. The wait is annoying. It makes me lose interest.

Streaming video, or even iTunes downloads, don’t satisfy the experience. Either quality is low so that they get down quickly enough for me, or they take too long to get quality. HD TV shows in 10 minutes? Ha, not for most of us. I can drive to Blockbuster (10 miles away) and get a movie and return quicker than most shows download.

The TiVo is a great step, but it needs to improve. OnDemand would be nice, but it’s not necessarily quick enough for most of us. You’ll overrun the buffer too quick. I’d be happy with my TiVo recording the START and END of shows, not going by times. When a game goes into overtime, RECORD THE WHOLE THING. When Two and a Half Men starts at 7:59 or 8:02, start there. Include the commericals, I’m OK with that. Some are actually good.

But record the whole show.

The Internet gives lots of people a chance to produce their own show. I think we’ll get lots more creativity and ideas. More shows/choices for networks to spend money on and bring out better quality without being limited to a few pilots. However the majority of people will still use TV for the time being.

No comments: