The past 2 years have seen a number of products and services enter the market, which have attempted to combine the flexibility of Internet with the entertainment content of television. The emergence of these products and the new kinds of services they are providing are noteworthy.
The announcement of Google’s entry into the TV space with Google TV at the I/O developer’s conference has created quite a buzz in the entertainment technology sector. Google TV is a new product that will allow one to search the web and tv channels simultaneously for desired content. Based on the Android operating system, analysts say that Google TV is like TiVo with web browser and search capabilities. Besides Google will also soon release software platforms that will enable third party developers to create applications to adapt websites to Google TV and provide enhanced tools for viewing. For more details you can read Google’s I/O Day2. The features of Google TV are promising but not entirely novel. This is why it already faces competition from a wide range of other companies and technologies.
LG and DivXTV
LG and DivX TV entered into a decisive partnership 4 months ago to provide users with internet TV on LG’S Blu-Ray players and home theater systems. It has tied up with several channels and websites for video, movie and music content. It has options to integrate this content with social and other networks. Some of its current partners are Associated Press, blip.tv, Break, Pandora, Picasa, TED and Twitter among others.
To get an idea you can check out this video http://www.divx.com/en/electronics/divx-tv.
Panasonic and YouTube has enabled big screen High Definition TV viewers access to millions of originally created videos from YouTube directly from Panasonic’s VIERA PZ850 line of Plasma Internet-connected HDTV’s. The VIERA HDTV’s, equipped with VIERA CAST, also include access to Picasa , Bloomberg’s financial news services and a local weather tool. This service has been around since a year now. VIERA CAST requires no external box or PC. This year, Panasonic is announcing major expansions to its offerings with Skype, Twitter, NetFlix, Fox Sports, and Pandora.
Samsung has announced that many of its HDTVs released this year will feature Internet@TV service. The 5th generation Yahoo Widget Engine allows users to check news headlines, stocks, and search Internet based photos and videos on such sites as Flickr, and Yahoo News and Finance. Social interaction will also be available as well as access to YouTube, eBay and other sites.
Boxee is a cross platform,freeware, home theater PC (HTPC) program with a 10 ft user interface and social networking features designed for the living-room TV. Boxee enables its users to view, rate and recommend content to their friends through social network services and interactive media related features. One notable feature missing in Boxee is the ability to watch and record live TV received via over-the-air TV, cable or satellite signals. There are similar set top box services such as PopBox and Roku.
But even if you want to experience a combination of TV and internet without buying new devices, there is a new web based service NyooTV which offers TV shows, movies and clips on NyooTV.com, anytime in the U.S. and India. You cannot download these shows or films on your PC as NyooTV uses the adaptive streaming technology which will stream the videos for viewing. Registered users can get continuous updates about the latest movies by following NyooTV through social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter and also discuss the videos they are viewing using the same. NyooTV intends to provide these services for free and generate revenue solely by featuring video advertisements along with the content they provide.
The entertainment industry is seeing the entry of new devices, dedicated tie-ups of services and devices and just simply services to capitalize on the potential of this combination. The future looks highly competitive and at the same time unpredictable. We will have to simply wait and watch out for who gets it right.