[opendtv] Re: Chromecast - Teardown and philosophy

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2013 08:12:09 -0400

On Jul 30, 2013, at 6:29 PM, "Manfredi, Albert E" 
<albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Craig Wrote: 

>>> And too, as articles have been saying, people DON'T seem to want to
>>> use the "second screen" to control 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.
> http://gigaom.com/2013/07/21/forget-second-screen-apps-today-the-tv-is-the-second-screen/
> Quoting from the bottom of this very recent article:
> "But finally, and that may be the most important point: Get out of the way. 
> It doesn't make sense to reinvent Twitter and Facebook for the second screen, 
> or any screen for that matter, because people are just fine using Twitter and 
> Facebook, and only more so while watching TV. The best new apps will be the 
> ones that provide additional utility without trying to monopolize a screen 
> that TV viewers already use for something else."

Thanks for this link!

Unfortunately it says nothing about the part of your comment I was reacting to:

>>> And too, as articles have been saying, people DON'T seem to want to
>>> use the "second screen" to control the "first screen." 

The article you cited above says the same thing as the article you posted  -  
How second screens are actually used. 

But it adds a very interesting twist - The TV is very often "the second 
screen." It is turned on while we do all manner of other tasks, and this is not 
a new phenomenon. We just have more ways to be distracted when you can use a 
laptop, tablet, or smartphone from the comfort of the easy chair in front of 
the big screen.

Both of the articles you posted have confirmed that viewers rarely use 
interactive features designed to work with the program on the TV. This has 
nothing to do with "controlling" the TV or searching for content, the two 
things we routinely do with a TV remote. 

Where Bert and I have a disagreement is relative to what the User Interface to 
the TV of the future will be. Clearly the TV remote with numeric keypad is an 
archaic throwback to the days when we could just choose between a handful of 
channels. Electronic Program Guides became necessary to deal with the 
proliferation of channels, and have been very crude at best, not to mention 
only allowing limited search capabilities within the walled garden of that MVPD.

As an aside, I wonder how many people actually use the program guide feature of 
the ATSC broadcast standard? 

Do you use this feature with your ATSC tuner Bert?

>> 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.
> How am I ignoring this? I'm merely working around it, while wondering why I 
> should need to. I find it truly astonishing that one keeps reading how people 
> increasingly want to watch their TV online, and yet the ever clueless trade 
> scribes can't tell them how. How many times have we seen articles where 
> watching online TV is described as being difficult, where the best the trade 
> scribe can offer is to suggest one of these crippled boxes, or where some new 
> scheme that does nothing remarkable is touted as being the solution?

I agree that there are a million opinions out there, and that trade press 
analysts often are clueless.

But you did not address the question: Why are the traditional CE vendors so 
clueless about all of this? 

You seem to think the solution is simple; just turn the TV into a bigger iMac 
or Dell Inspirion and use a wireless keyboard and mouse to control it. 

But that is not happening. The traditional CE vendors have no interest in 
sending Microsoft or Apple a check for the OS, nor do they want you to use a TV 
for traditional computing tasks. And the computer industry vendors have little 
interest in getting into the commodity TV market - they want to provide a more 
compelling user experience, AND the ability to use that big screen for more 
than just lean back relaxation and background noise.

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