[opendtv] Re: Chromecast - Teardown and philosophy

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2013 08:40:35 -0400

On Jul 29, 2013, at 5:59 PM, "Manfredi, Albert E" 
<albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> My argument is actually that the CE vendors should do this on their own. 
> Again, attaching the PC/notebook/whatever to the TV is a *workaround*, 
> however in terms of access to **TV content**, it is a better solution than 
> all the others you proffer. I agree that for viewing photos that someone has 
> on their smartphone, a more direct smartphone-to-TV interface would be nice 
> too. (The way I do it is to e-mail the photos from my phone to my PC. They 
> look way better on the big screen.)

It is your opinion that a PC is the best solution. Even Microsoft disagrees 
with you. 

It is your opinion that a PC is a better option than the new devices that are 
changing the TV landscape, both with respect to how content is  viewed, and how 
the UI to the TV works. For some reason you have little love for tablets and 
smartphones, and the role they are playing with respect to the consumption of 
TV content. 

> As we have seen, tablets and smartphones, be they iToys or Android, are 
> *much* more limited in the TV content they have access to than PCs are. I 
> don't consider being banished to only a handful of pay-TV Internet sites as 
> being a good solution.

If this is true, and I doubt that it is, it is ONLY because some content 
providers were choosing to block certain devices. On the other hand, it is 
becoming quite common for MVPD subscribers to access popular content, for which 
you have no access, on their second screen devices. 

> And too, as articles have been saying, people DON'T seem to want to use the 
> "second screen" to control the "first screen." I just use a simple, small, 
> light, and low-cost Logitech wireless mouse, for instance. Never have to look 
> away from the first screen. Seems like people like to have other stuff on 
> their "second screen," if they are watching TV at the same time.

Please provide some proof of this contention. I find NO evidence that people do 
not want to use tablets and smart phones as a TV remoter. In fact, virtually 
all high end home and theater control systems are now offer tablet based 
control. Yes, many people consume other content while the TV is on - this says 
volumes about the lack of compelling content on the TV screen. IT says nothing 
about the fact that people are increasingly using tablets and smart phones to 
control their TVs.

> That's certainly one option. Another option is to provide low-cost plug-in 
> modules that would not be any bigger than this dongle!! Consumers have shown 
> time and time again that they like dirt-simple solutions. Just turn on the TV 
> and tune to your program. Not a lot of extra baggage to do this.

You are conveniently ignoring an important reality Bert. The traditional CE 
providers have had access to the same technologies as the new CE oriented 
computing industry companies. Sony once owned portable audio systems - they 
completely missed the boat with the shift to digital. And the UI that most of 
the pacific rim CE companies have developed is archaic. IT is only natural that 
competitors will step up to these missed opportunities.

>> Bert claims that the PC is universal, despite the fact that much of what
>> can be accessed requires a subscription, or verification of a
>> subscription to an MVPD service.
> 
> "Much of?" Hardly any of, in my case! Clearly, it is undisputable that as new 
> TV portals emerge on the Internet, I have instant access to all of them. 
> These crippled devices, like AppleTV, Roku, my LG BluRay player, etc., etc., 
> do not have access. They become obsolete the minute joe schmoe creates 
> www.schmoe.tv.

With airplay I can access all of the same sites you can with your PC, except 
for a small number that are intentionally blocked by the content owners.

Regards
Craig 
 
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