TV viewing used to be simple..now it’s a nightmare


I am interested in gadgets for those that did not realise and for that reason this blog post is probably more relevant to people like me. I received a Roku box recently, a video streaming box that houses content from a number of companies such as Netflix and HBO etc. I always enjoy receiving new gadgets of course but it struck me as just how complicated my viewing experience has become.

I now have an Xbox that I can access social media, stream movies and play games. If I want to watch a movie I have the choice of Apple TV or the iPad to stream to the TV via Apple TV, now I have Roku which gives me more selection or more of the same, this time in a different room, my living room was just too busy to cope with another box!

Even when I isolate a single vehicle such as the iPad I then have more options. I can stream movies from lovefilm, I can download from iTunes I can catch up on TV from the iplayer, 4OD, ITV or watch live with Sky. If its a programme I want then I could download from iTunes, Roku HBO channel and Netflix will hold the same programmes – I could even look at my EPG on Sky and find it in there somewhere, or maybe I Sky+ it. I can’t remember really, perhaps I should check in Sky Anytime+ or The Planner or trawl through 300 channels?

It is a mind boggling amount of options and choices and this will only increase as Google and Xbox continue to grow their product offerings in the UK. There is another important factor in all of that – no Ads. All of the above is driven by micro payments and subscriptions and it is this that makes the TV model look so ill defined as we enter 2012. The Roku box asks me to subscribe at every turn for every service and at that point I hesitate..can I get this somewhere else, is it worth it?

I noticed this week a video from Microsoft that talks about similar changes in our consumption behaviour so I thought I would post the link here

Added to that the measurement becomes ever more confusing and understated. John Baylon, Head of Digital Trading at SMG commented in an article about how the research Barb are doing is just not up to the task, indeed in my opinion its actual measurement is looking outdated and needs an overhaul. The NMA article and link can be found here.

Just sometimes it would be nice to have less rather than more, that said next week it will be more rather than less. Next week I am off to The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and I am extremely looking forward to it, maybe there I will see something that highlights the major future change in this arena, I suspect however I am going to see a myriad of new devices and boxes that will just make things ever more complicated. One thing is for show in the TV space, the TVs will all be connected, big, pixel-tastic and likely with a few Ds but it’s the connected bit that will be the game changer. Already Skype integrated TVs are being produced so you can sit and Skype through the TV, nice touch and makes perfect sense..

More from CES next week.

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