Monday, July 27, 2009

The future of TV and Media is Evolving

Lets see now,,, Where to Start,,,?
Interesting news crossed my desk this morning,;
Apple is now working with record labels to try to push the sale of complete albums. From what I grather they are working on putting together a more interactive, value added experience for the album buyer in hope of entising more complete album sales. and cut down on the single track sales. Unfortunately, too little too late. If they had done something like this several years ago, they might have influenced the buying patterns of consumers. However, now except for rare occosions or special issues of classic albums no one buys a whole ablum, They pick and choose what tracks they like.

I personally have very little interest in buying a whole album, except for replacing material that I already have. For example, I have the 2 disc lp of Elvis Hawaiian concert, Only been played a few tines to make cassette copies many years ago, in other words practically new. Buying a new remastered copy might interst me. However, I prefer to have a CD and not just a digital copy. So a digital copy would have to offer material that I can't get now, and and I doubt they very much they could ad to a 30+ year old concert of a guy whose been dead for almost all of those 30 years.

However, other models of marketing and packaging do interest me. I have seen lately where Disney was offering its movies on Blu-ray, and including a regular Dvd in the same package. THAT makes sense .. As may folks will have only one HD player while regular dvd players are dirt cheap and the kids probably have at least one device that plays dvd, be it a laptop, or a portable dvd player, Let the kids have the regular dvd, and save the HD version for the main HD set-up at home, if they loose or ruin the dvd it not the end of the world, so to speak. In order to combat piricay. Media producers are going to to have add value to get consumer to spend money on material, they could just as easy download form bit-torrents and the like. Adding the regular dvd to the HD set, just makes sense, and is only the beginning. The new crop of Blu-ray players is offering a host of networked interactive features. Of course how many people actually use them remains to be seen..

The television as we know it has evolved over the last 20 years, particularly over the last 5-10 years. The digital transition went off in June, and he world didn't stop turning. However, the broadcasting world did change. The tvs have become almost entirely flat panels, either LCD or Plasmas, or in some expensive models, OLEDS, and other new technologies. The old old 4x3 form factor is now entirely gone. Every unit form the little 7 inch monitor up to the massive 65 inch Plasma are in the wide format, 16x9 format. While the number of inputs that one can feed into a tv has jumped to a panel in the back and side that resembles the back of a high end surround sound receiver. There is usually a set of legacy ports, RCA, S-video, and of course the new HD connections, HDMI, and digital audio in and out, carrying all 5 channels of surround sound both in and out to receivers, and Blu-ray players. Next genration game consols, and even laptops with HDMI out on them, allowing one to connect the laptop to the Tv. This allows one to surf the web on the big tv, add a wireless keyboard, and mouse and you have a nice set-up. Ideal for streaming Hulu and the like. One concept that I've seen a lot lately is the idea of the connected tv. What they are touting as connected is the ability of the tv to natively download and play movies of the likes of Netflicks, Amazon,. While I'm sold on the idea of the connected tv,
I'm not sold on the idea of buying my media only in a pure downloaded format, trusting them to keep my media that I've bought on their servers and remembering is mine when I change tvs or even the next time I just want to watch it. My idea of a connected tv would be native wireless connectivity, ie , it sees the local network and ask me for permission to jump on the network, and then I go the to menu and find a built in web browser, Firefox, or Chrome. A included wireless keyboard would make running the whole tv much easier, Possibility include special buttons to access the tv menus and setting for tweaking and set-up. A trackball on the keyboard would eliminate the need for a wireless mouse.
A small fash memory built in would hold the browser programing along with bookmarks and flash and other web necessary programs and could be reset to factory default if needed. Thats a connected tv...

Cable companys are desperate to try to bing in customers and keep the ones they have are trying several new models, the the so called "TV anywhere", which essentially allows subscriber to log in and watch their regular programing on a computer and they are verified as a subscriber. Their is allready a soluation for this, called slingbox, which onced connected to your cable box lets you watch whatever you have connected to it on any computer in the world. Dish network, which is a investor and part owner of Slingmedia, already has a new reciver coming out later this year which has the sling capabilities built right in. That is the technology that the cable companies are fighting. As soon as the new Dish receiver is made publicly available, they will have lost the battle. And they know it.
The cable company's "Tv Everywhere" is doomed to fail, no one will pay extra to get the same content, they can get much of for free, via, Hulu and other streaming sites. There is going to have to be a real valued-aded component to this and a very compelling one at that.

As for music cd's; How about including a set of MP3 on the disc themselves that can be legaly downloaded to a computer for use in mp3 playes and the like, or even a code to get a set of very high quality audio files off a certain site. Or better yet, behind the scenes content an the making of the music and the artist, and possibility even the ability to download enhanced tracks or stream material not yet released, but not able to save new material locally until its released. In general, offering maore ways to interact with the artist other then just his regular fan site.

In order to continue to sell hardware and media in a ecomay where people are becoming more careful about where they put their money, and what they invest in, be it a HDTV or a media player or even the media they actually play producers are going to have to be more creative in their marketing more importantly they need to give consumer more value for their money. be it adding a regular dvd version to a HD copy of a movie, or adding extras to music cds .If consumers don't feel they're getting what they paid for they will either stop buying, or in the case of media go to "Alternative Resources" to acquire what they want. By giving consumer extra content they can't get by downloading a copy off Bit-Torrents, they help give the consumer a reason to spend the money for the product.

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