I’ve been planning a “what TV means on the internet” post for a while, a big part of which was going to be a comparison of what’s available right now.
Browsing through my vast backlog of stuff to catch up on after my holiday, I found this great roundup of UK-available “tv on web” services. So that’s saved me a bunch of time 😉
What’s interesting / irritating about the situation right now is that we’ve got services provided by all the different content providers but have to download separate players for each one. This is a great example of an untenable user experience which needs sorting, big-time.
In the real world, I’m completely agnostic as to what channel I watch – as (I would imagine) a fairly typical viewer would be. I look at my TV guide, choose what I want to waste my time on, and weave a path between whatever channels have good stuff on. Bring what’s happening online right now into the living room and you’ve got a “what’s on the other television?” scenario – you have to “unplug” one application and boot up another to change channels. Very silly. There’s apparently a project underway to sort out this kind of issue by consolidating across the UK networks – try Googling for “Project Kangaroo“.
The nice thing about internet TV is that we’re all starting to get really excited about a technology which is very obviously at the beginning of its journey: now that we’ve got the bandwidth and the streaming technology to deal with the content, the improvements are going to be exponential over the next few months as people get to grips with the usability concerns. And that’s where it gets really interesting.