First speaker was TIVO’s CEO Tom Rogers with a dreadful presentation based on the Clint Eastwood interview of a chair presenting how wise it is for cable operator to use TIVO’s software on their set-top box.
Dan Saunders from Samsung Europe did follow with their take on “smart TV”. Key to their strategy is to include large content provider to build on brand recognition.
The problem that I have with the concept of “connected TV” is that it assume that TV is still at the center of the media consumption and that user will want to watch all types of content through their system. At this time, I don’t think that they succeeded in creating a platform that makes compelling, easy and open to all content form.
Maybe someone will figure it out (Apple?) but in the meantime, computers and iPad are really at the center of the connected world with TVs treated (sometimes) as displays.
Next on stage was the Microsoft Xbox Live’s GM for EMEA Rowan Oommen who did remind us how much Xbox is at the center of the media experience with not only games but video content from multiple sources. One point that he made is that people were watching TV today with multiple “screens” at once and the problem was that those were made by different vendors and not linked with each others. Key to their current strategy is to put some order in that and this is part of both Xbox and Windows development.
While this makes sense for Microsoft, I think that they are addressing a false problem. They seem to assume that people are using multiple screens (TV, computer, tablet, phone) in a tightly coupled manner. My experience is the opposite, people are doing things on those screen that are very loosely linked to one another. It may be futile and counterproductive to link it.