Tag Archives: TV

Online TV Vs. Traditional TV: Who wins?

You will find more statistics at Statista

Remember the charts in 2008 showing iPhone’s market share under 5% versus Nokia’s above 50%? Doesn’t the Cable TV chart above remind you to those Nokia charts trying to show that the inevitable won’t happen? And then, it is only a matter of time.

For TV, the shift to online might happen sooner than what a first glimpse at the chart may suggest. If you add Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and iTunes shares on the chart, you get that online TV has already surpassed Cable TV. Yes, data can tell many different stories depending on how you show it.

Internet bandwidth is less and less a bottleneck for online TV to offer the same picture quality as Cable or Satellite. As we get more connected TVs, the difference between traditional and online TV blurs. For live TV, the consumer TV experience is the same whether the signal is carried over a cable, a satellite or an IP connection.

Very soon the only difference between traditional and Online TV will be the technology that carries the signal. While live TV on cable and satellite use a broadcast carrier, live TV for online is unicast.

To a viewer that does not change much. For an advertiser that is a big difference.

– With broadcast, all consumers must watch the same ads. You can only target your ad by understanding what content/TV-show appeals to what demography.
– With unicast, each consumer can watch an unique personalized ad. That means that marketers can tailor their message to the segment of one.

It is not only that marketers could program TV ads with the same granularity as you can program a Facebook or LinkedIn Campaign (e.g. I want my ad to be seen only by male people working for AT&T in Illinois). It is that you could even imagine to personalize your ad with the name of the viewer, or if permission given, with his customer history.

What do you think will be more valuable to advertisers? A mass media ad, like those aired on TV today, or the possibility to target specific niches, and even persons?

That is the hidden power of online TV, and this is what traditional media agencies (and TV broadcasters) don’t want you to know… so that you keep wasting half of your marketing budget.

“Half of the money I spend on advertisement is wasted. The trouble is I don’t know which half.“
—John Wanamaker (1838-1922)

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Can you measure TV Audience with Twitter?


Trying to make a straight correlation between TV audience and Twitter activity is as nonsense as ignoring the potential Twitter provides to get insightful metrics for TV.

Some shows will trigger more Twitter activity than others. Granted. That does not make any attempt to map TV audience with Twitter invalid. It just shows that getting meaningful insights requires some more thoughtful analysis and modeling than the mere counting of tweets.


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Google TV should turn into Chrome TV

Chrome has revolutionized web browsing. It has evolved the web in 3 years more than in the previous 10. ChromeOS, though, has failed to challenge the PC and laptop status quo, in part because it was conceived before the iPad era, in part because you resist to have a machine that is almost useless when offline.

But the area Chrome would revolutionize is the TV, and this is where Google opted for the Android-based Google TV. A mistake.

The TV and the Web are made to each other, and a ChromeTV would have much more impact in the TV industry than what Google TV might have. Why?
– A Web browser is something that any TV-set manufacturer would integrate without the legal issues of a platform like GoogleTV, owned by Google and tied to potential content rights and other patent issues.
– HTML5 and CSS3 provide a superb framework to develop compelling apps for big screens like TVs.
– The TV-set is “fixed” by nature. If it is connected, it will always be connected, unlike a laptop or tablet. Therefore you can live with just a browser on it. No need for a proper proprietary OS.
– The Web also on the TV? What else can Google dream that would better fit their search and ads business model?

Happy 3rd anniversary Google Chrome!!!

Digital Home options for PC2TV

Sony Vaio TP-1 Mac Mini Xbox 360
An effective architecture for the Digital Home requires two main elements: a centralized shared storage for media files, and a Media Player that connects to each of the displays at home: TVs, LCD, Plasma screens in different rooms.

We reviewed the shared storage for media, be it a NAS or a desktop PC, in a previous post. This one will show the Media Player alternatives to ‘connect’ our content from the storage to the TV set.

We will categorize the Media Player options in four:

– Home Theater PC (HTPC): Fiire (Linux MCE), Vaio TP-1 (Windows Media Center), Mac Mini (Apple Front Row)
Future proof solution. Support for any codec. Full control on sofware and hardware configuration.
Can use as PVR with a TV card (internal o external)
Can be used as shared storage with laptops or other Media players at home
Additional functionality on the TV (Web access, Video conference, home surveillance, games…)

Higher cost

– Network Media Player: Linux MCE frontend, Kiss DVD Ethernet Player, D-Link Wireless Media Player, Apple TV
Lower cost
Device optimized for specific use
Ease of use

Lack of upgradeability. Limited codec support.
Apple TV only supports H.264
No PVR (Exception: KiSS models with PVR function)

– Game Console: Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3
Hi-Def game console with great games!
Cost effective
You can install Linux on the PS3, and run as a Linux PC

SW controlled by Microsoft or Sony
Limited support for codecs. Many of the files in your library will not play or will require transcoding with loss of quality

– Media Jukebox: TVIX
Lower cost
Combined Storage with Media Player in one box
Device optimized for specific use

No control on software for adding features or codec support
No distributed architecture with a shared storage

Note that any PC or laptop can work as a Media Player, but those are far from ideal to connect to a TV set: a laptop being mobile implies connect and disconnect cables, and a normal PC might not have HDMI, or SPIF audio, required for a full HD experience.

Other factors to consider for the election:

If you have a large library of XVD/DivX and rip DVDs or get your copies by P2P file sharing, a HTPC Linux MCE or Windows MCE are the preferred choices, unless you want to transcode your library to H.264 to get your content on Apple devices

Note for Apple Addicts:
Apple products are great: great stylish design, simple easy-to-use and high quality operation (it simply works).
Apple tends to design products their way, without compromises. That is, even if Windows Media, XVid and DivX formats have a wide acceptance, none of Apple products support these by default. Instead Apple selects high quality standars (H.264 for video and AAC for audio) and bring them to the masses.
Apple is creating a loyal clientelle of Applemaniacs, who do not mind to pay a higher price because , even if ‘locked’ with Apple choice of standards, all Apple products interwork nicely with each other. The user do not need to worry about technology. Apple takes care of that for you. Apple makes smooth even to pay for songs, videos or movie rentals.

Japanese ebooks on mobile handsets

TechCrunch reported a few days ago the success of “mobile phone ebooks” in Japan. See article

I often fly to Tokyo for work. People there commute mainly on train. Japan has the best railway system in the world. Trains are so punctual you can actually use them to set your watch time.

It is considered impolite – and it is forbidden- to speak on the phone in trains, buses or restaurants. Yet, around 80% of the people in a wagon are using their clam shell phones, mainly for email. SMS is not common and it is replaced by email, which Japanese access more often on their handsets than on PC.

With so much time spent in commuting, the mobile phone becomes a Personal Entertainment device – email, imode, games, music, and BOOKS as reported by TC!!.
KDDI, second mobile operator, sells millions of songs every month directly to the phones of their customers, being the main competitor to iTunes in Japan.

You can also find people in the train watching TV on their phones, not only unicast, but broadcast too. Technicians installing TV at home, will use the TV in their handsets to check channel reception.

In summary, Japan is very special in their habits. Successful concepts in Japan, may not be exportable. e.g. imode did not quite succeed overseas.