There’s a flaw with streaming video that smacks me in the face every now and then. Just when I’m settling into the show of choice, I occasionally get an ugly little message that says “Loading, please wait.” I don’t like it. It reminds me that my TV viewing habits are based on a less-than-perfect infrastructure (the Internet) with varying bandwidth to the home and potential server issues along the way. More importantly, it ruins my enjoyment of the show in question.
The AT&T/DirecTV wedding is complete and the carrier wasted little time in consummating the deal. Almost immediately, AT&T launched a new TV/wireless bundle offering a 10 percent monthly discount that leverages either U-verse or DirecTV. Of course, the ‘bundle’ is not a new concept in the wireless industry or across telecom and broadband, and indeed the major wireless carriers have often tried to bundle TV and wireless together. But this one is a more serious attempt with a single billing package and, of course, it is the first time a carrier has been able to offer its own TV service on a nationwide level. Indeed, the DIRECTV merger now makes AT&T the largest TV provider in the U.S., surpassing Comcast.
This blog is for all the cable haters out there of which I am not one. I love TV.
I tend to vacation off-the-grid, leave technology behind and turn the phone off. It’s a welcome chance to focus on the here and now, as opposed to the calls, texts, emails, and social sphere that links to everyone’s activity...
Twenty-five years ago last Friday, Depeche Mode inadvertently almost started a riot. The band had finally become “big” in the U.S., but had not realized just how big. As a result, when they agreed to a CD signing session at a local record store – the Wherehouse record store – they had no idea that 15,000 people would turn up. Whoops. The message went out on the radio: “for all of you with radios listening to this, pass the message that Depeche Mode will only be here for three more hours.”
My TV screen continued to pass on the DVR’s same little message it had been telling me for the past two hours: “Almost there, just a few more minutes.” Sure. I had optimistically believed that for the first 30 minutes, thinking that perhaps the DVR’s definition of a minute was a little longer than mine. But at this point I was beginning to read between the lines… my DVR box was fried.
Consumer TV viewing habits continue to shift towards an always-on, streaming-centric solution and the networks are quickly jumping in with a multitude of viewing apps. So is it business as usual for the networks as they attempt to satisfy the mobile-hungry consumer’s appetite? Perhaps not, because the latest apps are being developed for connected TVs, rather than a previous focus on mobile, thanks to major device launches such as Amazon’s Fire TV, Chromecast, and the Xbox One. And more to the point, it’s the networks themselves that are jumping into the game.
Back in the olden days of over-the-top TV (all of four or five years ago), the concept of TV Everywhere (TVE) was led by the pay-TV operators. The goal was to embrace the Web, and the new-fangled “over-the-top” world of Netflix and others, but in a cautious and manageable way.
For nearly a year, the tech industry has been abuzz with rumors and speculation that Amazon would enter the rapidly growing media streaming device market; challenging category incumbents Apple, Google, and Roku who accounted for 88 percent of category revenue during the 12 months ending February. Wednesday, Amazon did just that, announcing their Amazon Fire TV to much fanfare.
I recently participated in a panel debate at the NPD DisplaySearch US FPD conference on the future of the smartphone and tablet, considering which, if either was more likely to drive greater market disruption moving forward. My inclination was to back the sure thing: the smartphone has already disrupted so many surrounding technologies and I see no reason why it will slow down any time soon.