Sunday, October 08, 2006

Always On, Always Off

The main problem with Tivo's technology is that you can't time travel; you can just occasionally, if you remember, get it to record a programme of series of interest to you. But once a schedule has played, it's gone in the usual ephemeral way that TV operates. If it's on and you're off, then you have a problem.

A new feature from Sky in the UK enables you to use a mobile phone to set your schedule, but clearly, you can only do this for programmes in the future.

The saga of Tivo v. US satellite giant Echostar continues, with a judge giving a stay of appeal to the broadcasters last week.

But the danger is that they're fighting over a patch of ground that's about to be subsumed by the income tide.

My predication is that the trained in video delivery will go from broadcasting > download > streaming. (I count the current popularity of the 3 min slot within the download slot since the length of the movies have been predilicted originally by the time it takes to download).

When you stream, you don't need a copy on the local drive; security can be more tightly controlled and you can, theoretically, access anywhere at any time on any device. At an internet cafe? Using your laptop in the airport? On the bus on the way to school ? In a hotel room in a foreign country ? Sure let's watch the game, timeshifted to you convenience; or you can watch the whole channel if you particularly miss your daily fix of 'I'm a Hotrod, Get Me Out of Here...'.

Another interim technology in this space is the Slingbox and its many imitators.
Is there such a thing any more as durable technology ? And with lifetimes of technology becoming ever shorter, is this going to justify the huge expense in pioneering technologies like Tivo and Slingbox ?

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