Watching Television


The pictures on this page give you a small insight into my life. The first is a picture of the television in my living room. At the time of taking the picture I was watching the English cricket team losing in high definition.
The second picture is of my desk. Again you will see that it is dominated by a large screen (I’m afraid I still have a sneaky suspicion that size matters). There is one big difference between this screen and the one in the living room, though. The computer screen looks really busy.
I regularly need access to the web, Excel, Powerpoint and other good stuff while I am carrying out my primary role in life: stringing words together. The big computer screen means that I can have all this and more, and with the merest tap on the Magic Trackpad I can move from one to the other. The background even tells me where it is day, where it is night and where the weather systems are forming.
You probably do exactly the same with your computer screens, so are already getting slightly tetchy that this month’s column is not going to tell you anything new. What I am trying to underline is the difference between the computer screen and the television screen.
I was talking recently to a very nice man called Greg Gudorf at Technicolor. He made a very simple point to me that was one of those slap your forehead moments: people invest in large television sets because they like watching television pictures. HD is taking off because people enjoy watching really nice pictures on their really nice television sets. And they do not want anything to get in the way of those really nice pictures.
One of the strongest messages coming out of CES this year was that the Next Big Thing will be the connected television. By putting an ethernet port on the back next to the HDMI you will be able to do so much more on your television rather than just watch programmes. You will be able to join in social networks and send instant messages and emails and generally interact with the programme and your friends.
Now there are some obvious reasons why this is a really dumb idea. I have a 15 year old niece who is utterly charming. Like all teenagers, though, she sends text messages and updates Facebook while she is watching television. And the chances are she does not want her mum and dad to see the content of some of the things she says while all three are sharing Glee.
But I come back to Greg’s point, that the real reason why having all this stuff on the television screen is such a dumb idea. It gets in the way of the lovely pictures. And real people do not want that.
The other argument for the connected television is another crackpot idea (in my humble opinion). That is the suggestion that television channels are going to go away and we will receive all our content online.
Just a couple of days ago I went to a shamefully under-attended meeting organised by the Thames Valley branch of the Royal Television Society. A free plug is merited here, incidentally. If you live anywhere near Reading you should mark these monthly events in your diary. They put on a cracking programme of presentations which are almost always interesting – and always free – and there is a lively discussion at the bar afterwards. Cannot recommend them highly enough.
This month the presentation was led by Dave Cockle from Apple. He is a great presenter and most amusing, and he came up with some great statistics. In 2010 there were 700 billion video downloads from YouTube. The number will undoubtedly increase in 2011, driven largely by the current classic of the woman falling into a shopping mall fountain while walking and texting.
But he could not be swayed from the idea that content will be online in the future, and all the problems – like charging for it and finding it and ensuring suitable content reaches suitable audiences – will have to be solved because, well, all content will be online.
A very sensible question came from the floor, about where the bandwidth to deliver all this stuff is going to come from, which got a deeply unsatisfactory answer along the lines of “Cisco would love to sell more kit, and maybe content owners will have to pay for a premium delivery platform”. Which blithely ignored the real infrastructure issues alongside the core political issue of net neutrality.
It may seem bold to tell Apple they are wrong (it is certainly futile) but while you can interact all you like on your phone or your iPad, the inescapable facts are that people like watching television on their television screens, and the most bandwidth-efficient way of distributing content to television screens is broadcasting.

Tags: iss050 | cricket | television | ces | technicolor | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K at NAB 2018

    Blackmagic ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K at NAB 2018

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2014

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2014

  • Air Alloy Tripod System from Miller Fluid Heads at IBC 2014

    Air Alloy Tripod System from Miller Fluid Heads at IBC 2014

  • Cineline Fluid Head from Miller Camera Support at NAB 2014

    Cineline Fluid Head from Miller Camera Support at NAB 2014

  • SMPTE on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    SMPTE on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Blackmagic introduces Blackmagic RAW (BRAW) at IBC 2018

    Blackmagic introduces Blackmagic RAW (BRAW) at IBC 2018

  • Keeping An Eye on Piracy with Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2018

    Keeping An Eye on Piracy with Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2018

  • Viaccess-Orca overview from IBC 2018

    Viaccess-Orca overview from IBC 2018

  • Safer OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

    Safer OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

  • Smarter OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

    Smarter OTT and TV Platforms from Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2017

  • Verizon Digital Media Services at IBC 2017

    Verizon Digital Media Services at IBC 2017

  • Omnitek Consultancy and Design Services at IBC 2017

    Omnitek Consultancy and Design Services at IBC 2017

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2016

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2016

  • Video Devices PIX-E at IBC 2016

    Video Devices PIX-E at IBC 2016

  • Sound Devices Wingman app at IBC 2016

    Sound Devices Wingman app at IBC 2016

  • Video Devices at NAB 2016

    Video Devices at NAB 2016

  • Sound Devices 6-Series mixers at NAB 2016

    Sound Devices 6-Series mixers at NAB 2016

  • Video Devices at BVE 2016

    Video Devices at BVE 2016

  • Viaccess-Orca content security at IBC 2015

    Viaccess-Orca content security at IBC 2015

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2015

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2015

  • Sound Devices 688 at IBC 2015

    Sound Devices 688 at IBC 2015

  • Video Devices PIX-E Series at IBC 2015

    Video Devices PIX-E Series at IBC 2015

  • ERA - Cloud Services - at BVE 2015

    ERA - Cloud Services - at BVE 2015

  • Sound Devices at NAB 2014

    Sound Devices at NAB 2014

  • Polecam talk accessories on BroadcastShow LIVE 2013

    Polecam talk accessories on BroadcastShow LIVE 2013

  • Sound Devices on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Sound Devices on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Softron Media Services on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Softron Media Services on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Sound Devices PIX260i Recorder at IBC 2013

    Sound Devices PIX260i Recorder at IBC 2013

  • Polecams range of accessories and minicams at IBC 2013

    Polecams range of accessories and minicams at IBC 2013

  • Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2013

    Viaccess-Orca at IBC 2013

  • Sound Devices at NAB 2013

    Sound Devices at NAB 2013

  • Shure Sound Devices at BVE 2013

    Shure Sound Devices at BVE 2013

  • Sound Devices at NAB 2012

    Sound Devices at NAB 2012

  • Sound Devices at ProVideo2011

    Sound Devices at ProVideo2011

  • Sound Devices at IBC2011

    Sound Devices at IBC2011

  • KitPlus filming rig used at BVE 2017

    KitPlus filming rig used at BVE 2017

  • Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

    Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

  • Nugen Audio at IBC 2016

    Nugen Audio at IBC 2016

  • Filming kit review from NAB

    Filming kit review from NAB

  • Elemental Technologies - AWS acquisition at NAB 2016

    Elemental Technologies - AWS acquisition at NAB 2016

  • Elemental Technologies - Amazon acquisition at IBC 2015

    Elemental Technologies - Amazon acquisition at IBC 2015

  • Elemental Technologies at IBC 2015

    Elemental Technologies at IBC 2015

  • Zylight Fresnel updates at IBC 2014

    Zylight Fresnel updates at IBC 2014

  • SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

    SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

  • Cobham satellite EXPLORER products at IBC 2014

    Cobham satellite EXPLORER products at IBC 2014

  • Cobalt Digital at NAB 2014

    Cobalt Digital at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

  • Blackmagic Design on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Blackmagic Design on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • SIS LIVE and their products ManPak and DriveForce at IBC 2013

    SIS LIVE and their products ManPak and DriveForce at IBC 2013

  • Blue Lucy Media at IBC 2013

    Blue Lucy Media at IBC 2013

  • LiveU: Smart Grip at NAB 2013

    LiveU: Smart Grip at NAB 2013

  • True Lens at BVE 2013

    True Lens at BVE 2013

  • Lens Adaptor at BVE 2013

    Lens Adaptor at BVE 2013

  • Shure Distribution at BVE North 2012 Part 2

    Shure Distribution at BVE North 2012 Part 2

  • MTF at IBC2011

    MTF at IBC2011

  • Prime Focus at IBC2011

    Prime Focus at IBC2011

  • TC Electronic at IBC2011

    TC Electronic at IBC2011

  • Eyeheight at IBC2011

    Eyeheight at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • Training for the future with ITTP: BVE Day 2

    Training for the future with ITTP: BVE Day 2


Articles
The making of The Heist
Tom Hutchings Shine TV has never been one to shy away from a challenge, be that in terms of using new technologies, filming ideas or overall formats: we pride ourselves on being ambitious and risk-takers.
Tags: iss135 | liveu | heist | streaming | cellular | mobile | connectivity | Tom Hutchings
Contributing Author Tom Hutchings Click to read or download PDF
Test, Measurement and Standards
Alan Wheable The Alliance for IP Media Solutions (AIMS), is a non-profit trade alliance that fosters the adoption of one set of common, ubiquitous, standards-based protocols for interoperability over IP in the media and entertainment, and professional audio/video industries.
Tags: iss135 | omnitek | aims | SNMP | hdr | ai | Alan Wheable
Contributing Author Alan Wheable Click to read or download PDF
21st Century Technology for 20th Century Content
James Hall A big challenge facing owners of legacy content is rationalising and archiving their tape and film-based media in cost effective and efficient ways, whilst also adding value. Normally the result of this is to find a low cost means of digitising the content – usually leaving them with a bunch of assets on HDD. But then what? How can content owners have their cake and eat it?
Tags: iss135 | legacy | digitising | digitizing | archive | James Hall
Contributing Author James Hall Click to read or download PDF
Switching to Internet Based Distribution
Chris Clark

"An IP status check for the broadcast industry", "Resistance is futile", "IP points the way forward for the broadcast industry"...

Yes, we've read the headlines too. But rather than force you into submission, scare you, or leave you feeling like you have no other choice, we want to give you the information that helps you to make a sensible decision about Internet-based distribution.

So what’s stopping you from making the switch right now?

Tags: iss135 | ip | internet | distribution | cerberus | Chris Clark
Contributing Author Chris Clark Click to read or download PDF
Your two week editing future
Alex Macleod

So here we are - January again! Usually a good time to reflect on the year just gone by, and a good time to look forward to the coming months as the new year begins.

When I was reflecting on my 2018, and when thinking about what to write for my first article for Kit Plus - I kept coming back to one theme - organisation.

Tags: iss135 | editing | mediacity training | premiere pro | dit | Alex Macleod
Contributing Author Alex Macleod Click to read or download PDF