The TV is evolving into a more complex device and the basic concept on turning it on and immediately watching TV could become a thing of the past. As consumers we’ve become conditioned to expect home screens on computers, tablets, and smartphones; TVs now look set to follow suit. New TVs from Samsung and Panasonic launch to a home screen rather than the last TV channel you were watching. This home, or launch page, is a customized experience based on recognition from a built-in camera.
Google Fiber officially debuted last week in the Kansas City area after a long testing phase as the Internet giant has begun taking pre-registrations. In essence, Google is taking telco and cable companies head on with a value proposition to build a super fast (allegedly 100 times faster than any other U.S. ISP’s average broadband speeds) fiber infrastructure in return for a $300 installation fee, which can be paid at once or in $25 installments, per household. Google then complements the fiber solution with three service package options.
The success of the mobile phone market over the past 10 to 15 years came at the clear expense of the landline market. The insipient creep of cord-cutting behavior coupled with the younger generation that never saw the point of having a cord, has resulted in lower landline numbers and pretty much a universal agreement that the landline will fade, if not to obscurity then at least to a dusty corner of the living room.
When MTV played the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star” in 1981 it launched a new era of pay television. Cable TV was no longer Community Antenna TV (CATV); now there were—or soon would be—as Bruce Springsteen put it, “57 channels and nothin’ on.”
In announcing a new name, new direction, and new marketing strategy that puts more emphasis on services and content and less on low price, Dish did a remarkably good job of obscuring a salient point; the digital divide still exists, and because it does a less-than-enthralling broadband offer looks like it should have legs. Dish used CES to promote a whole-home Kangaroo-themed client-server set-top combo (Hopper and its sidekick Joey) with tuners that can handle 6 HD recordings at once and a hard drive deep enough to swallow 2,000 hours of HD programming in a single gulp.