This month we’ve been thinking about how 2011 is shaping up for that 42” screen sitting quietly in the corner of your living room. Because when the likes of YouTube, Vimeo, Apple, and Google start focusing on delivering services for the tv… know something’s going on.
It’s not just the digital big boys either. A consortium of the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five and BT have developed YouView. A service that brings Freeview, and Internet catch-up and video on-demand services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD, Demand Five and SeeSaw, to your TV.
Don’t panic though. Here’s the blaggers guide.
YouTube ‘LeanBack’ and Vimeo ‘CouchMode’ lets anyone with a connected TV or modern web browser view and navigate web content using a simple interface with search functionality. They’re designed to start playing a personalised feed of videos in full screen mode and high definition as soon as you launch them.
Apple TV, Boxee, and YouView all offer services through an external box that you connect to the back of your TV. The services vary, but the general gist is the same. You rent and watch films and TV shows, stream content, watch YouTube videos, enjoy photos, music, and more.
Last up is Google TV which is available through an external box, but is also comes built-in as part of the new Sony Internet TV range. Google TV lets you find and record shows, run apps, and search and use the full web.
Obviously it opens up LOTS of questions and LOTS of opportunities for media owners and brands. It’ll be fascinating to watch this unfold over the next 6-12months. But one thing’s for sure. Your TV is about to get a monster kick up the arse. Exciting times.
YouTube Leanback – http://www.youtube.com/leanback
Vimeo Couchmode – http://vimeo.com/couchmode
YouView – http://www.youview.com/
Boxee – http://www.boxee.tv/
Apple TV – http://www.apple.com/appletv/
Google TV – http://www.google.com/tv
(A version of this comment first appeared in glue Isobar October Newsletter.)