TV Techno-Thought

1 comment March 6th, 2007at 04:10pm Posted by Eli

I came up with this idea as a bullet point in a post I’m still working on, and I thought it was worth expanding it into its own post.

One of the holy grails of computers and television is the convergence between the two. There are all kinds of set-top boxes and add-ons to allow you to watch TV on your computer, or watch your computer’s digital video files on your TV. There are even set-top boxes (or will be) that can download movies from the internet.

But as far as I’m aware, no-one has taken it that extra step further and created a TV or a set-top box that can view streaming internet video. I’ve cobbled together a setup involving a spare laptop with remote access software and a TV-out jack, but it’s the kind of unsightly arrangement that only a geek could love.

But is there any reason why a set-top box with specialized software couldn’t take the place of my laptop? It could have a default portal that serves as a channel guide or directory to all the sources of internet video content out there, with an arrow-and-select interface (some kind of rudimentary keyboard would be a nice option for the remote, to allow for entering login info where needed, or specifying video sources that aren’t accessible from the portal).

There’s already a repository of short clips on my Comcast OnDemand menu, which gets me to thinking that internet video could be a pretty cool premium cable service, with the bandwidth coming directly through the co-ax cable. In other words, it wouldn’t even be necessary to have a traditional broadband or internet service to watch web video. If implemented well, this could finally provide a much-needed alternative to the traditional broadcast media (no reason this couldn’t be extended to radio, come to think of it) and their stranglehold on passively-consumed content. So on second thought, the cable companies probably won’t be interested – maybe the TiVo people?

This is still a very rough draft of an idea. I don’t know if there’s enough content or infrastructure to support this yet, and God only knows how the portal interface might be arranged. But I think it’s going to be possible some day, and all I ask is that someone give me several billion dollars for having thought of it. (Actually, the odds of me being the first person to think of this are probably roughly equal to the odds of me getting several billion dollars…)

Yes, I love technology…
But not as much as you, you see…
But I STILL love technology…
Always and forever…

Entry Filed under: Media,Technology,TV

1 Comment

  • 1. Multi Medium » Medi&hellip  |  March 6th, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    […] o Boycott/threaten to boycott the traditional media and their sponsors, and promote alternatives, i.e., blogs/streaming video/YouTube. (various) While this would be ideal in theory, I’m skeptical as to whether it can be achieved in practice. People like the ease and passivity of just turning on the TV and watching, or half-paying-attention while they do other stuff. I don’t see the internet being able to equal that experience any time soon, via computer, cellphone, or any other device short of… an actual television or set-top box that can somehow tune into channels on the internet. […]

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