Monday, December 28, 2009

IPies 2009


They're back! It's time to reward the good, the bad and the ugly of the Internet TV and IPTV world after a year's absence due to work pressure.Yes, it's that time of year to sit down with the mulled wine and hand out the TV on IP's least prestigious awards.

Newcomer of the Year – after spending the holiday season playing with various technologies, I have to go home and not away on this one. Vidiactive is in danger of being the company that redefines how television is seen and used, linking traditional viewing with complementary screens and providing the missing link between TV viewing and social media.

Technology of the Year – year after year this is a toughie, but Spotify has done more than anyone to define how content can be and consumed in the future. Of course, they are not yet active in the Internet TV market, and may never be, but the model they have established is one that will be forever emulated.

Service of the Year - goes to the BeebPlayer, an app that enables Android user to view the BBC iPlayer on their mobile, developed by an enthusiast and something the BBC themselves should have done years ago.

The Don't Hold Your Breath Award - goes to Project Canvas, a 'hedging your bets' initiative if ever I saw one; essentially a framework for developing VoD sevices for Freeserve boxes, as far as I can tell. The fact that iPlayer and excellent services such as the BeebPlayer (see above) don't use it says it all, despite gaining some recent momentum and support.

Trend of the Year – TV Everywhere - we're still deciding if we're going to sue over the widespread adoption of our trademark as a generic long after we first coined the term... But there again, we were also responsible for TV2.0, global tribes and the re-definition of narrowcasting...

Person of the Year – the ubiquitous Eric Huggers at the BBC for taking over Ashley Highfield's mantle and playing politics even better whilst having a much firmer grip on technology than his predecessor and former employer. As ever, Steve Jobs is not eligible for already being Person of the Universe 20thC and Person of the Universe 21stC .

The Where Are They Now Award – goes to Joost, who thought technology could triumph over content and ended up being a second hand technology company; honourable mention to Kangaroo, which will remainfest itself in many guises, I suspect, from Arqiva to Hulu to NDS's Locate TV.

Smart Acquisition of the Year Award – goes to Comcast for NBC; expect lots more vertical integration.

The ‘So What ?’ Award – goes to everyone building IPTV boxes in the UK; I bought what is reported to be the best of the bunch - the Humax Foxtel and it turns out to be primitive beyond belief.

The 'We Don't Care Because We're The BBC' Award - goes this year to Gordon Brown for ensuring that the UK has a publicly funded broadcaster that is bigger than the whole of the TV advertising market. Also, for allegedly enabling 150 civil servants at said corporation to earn more than he does for running he country.

Dumb move of the year – Stephen Carter's Digital Britain report, which was a case study in Birt-like stating he bleedin' obvious. It missed a real opportunity to sort out Murdoch, the BBC and regional news, amongst many other issues, but did lay the foundations for universal broadband. Let's hope they meant 2Mbps as a minimum...

The Village Idiot Award - goes to Sky Player, who learnt nothing from the mistakes of iPlayer and 4OD and who have gone on to make the same mistakes, seemingly compounding them by being unwilling to pay for decent CDN provision for a service for which they charge a small fortune.

The Stranglers Award - goes to Tiscali, who are now routinely throttling all their internet customers, if chatrooms and my experience are to be believed. Steer clear!

The World Keeps On Turning Award - goes to our friends in the City, who seem totally immune to the rules that everyone else has to play by when building and running businesses. I'm personally willing to fund many one way tickets to Hong Kong, Zurich, and, of course, Dubai, for these masters of the universe, who ostensibly pay a lot in tax, but then require a hundred time more to bail out their bonuses and still regard this as a deal we can't refuse.



A Happy New Year to all IPTV Times readers and subscribers - thanks for all your comments and feedback during the year !