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Sunday, May 28, 2006

Online Television...

It is really amazing we have not made much progress in streaming real-time television. With the continued expansion of broadband in the home, and the high usage of the internet at work, you would think integration of broadcast or cable television would take place one day.

There are obvious problems, as television is not interactive and it does not lend itself well to multi-tasking as much as radio. The penetration of television is already much higher than the internet at home, especially broadband. Additionally the hardware to watch streaming television and work on the computer at the same time on the same machine is not ready for primetime. Usually you can work and/or watch a television program, but that’s it.

So the on-demand type video makes sense, as people that are interested in a specific topic or show, could go and download the show and watch it at their own leisure. This concept makes sense and should be the real future of television online.

Additionally, the broadcast model for live events and first run programming still is important, as we saw with American Idol and the last episode of Lost running head to head.

Now, how do you solve this issue? Will it show-up as interactive television as we know it today? Will it have programming integrated into our internet experience? There are a bunch of new technologies out there that are being tested out. The big ones include YouTube and iFilm. A new service has been introduced in the past few months called Channel Chooser.

You can check out this new semi-broadcast service at – it really is a neat idea, but in reality it is just a repackaged version of streaming video. The video is all royalty free and does not include anything you would really be interested in watching, unless you were really really bored. The most interesting channels include the Gameshow Channel, the Baby Channel, Pentagon Channel or the Horror Channel.

Kudos to the guys at channelchooser for being creative, but we need some hard work to take this to the next level!

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