In three weeks, thousands of consumer marketing executives will descend on Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show.
Gary Shapiro, the president of the Consumer Electronics Association, uses his new book, The Comeback, to argue the importance of taking spectrum away for TV broadcasters and giving it to broadband providers. What he totally misses or ignores in his arguments is that broadcasters are moving rapidly to use their spectrum to introduce mobile DTV, a service that, by any definition, is innovative and, given the quality of the programming, more important than many of wireless gimcracks and geegaws shown at CES.
Electronics makers are covering all bases as they rush headlong into a “smart” TV market deemed the next stage of evolution, trying to figure out just what will catch on with consumers using increasingly sophisticated displays in living rooms.
Speaking at Samsung’s keynote at CES yesterday yesterday, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar said that its Hulu Plus service will be coming to Android handsets “in the coming months.”
Yahoo is trying to lure viewers from cable connections — striking deals with Ford, Mattel and Microsoft in an effort to start up a number of new “enhanced” TV features. The Yahoo Connected TV platform is working with tech companies and a slew of TV networks — ABC, CBS, HSN, and Showtime — to entice viewers.
If CES 2011 is any indication of the future of the TV viewing experience, it appears that the days of TV sets that deliver only crystal-clear images will go the way of a wired telephone handset that delivers only crystal-clear sound.
“We have every distribution network and content company trying to create a uniform approach for this,” Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said at the Consumer Electronics Show. “Let’s try to keep it simple. This is the best room in the world to develop the innovation to make this happen.”
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will tell Consumer Electronics Show attendees that broadcasters who are not making “effective use of the capabilities of their spectrum” should have it put to a “higher use for other purposes.”
The broadcasting lobbyist says that Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro’s opening speech accusing TV broadcasters of “squatting now on our broadband future” misses the mark. “He simply sees a world of wireless broadband, and that’s just not what the future holds,” Smith said. And the NAB chief also accused Shapiro of being out of touch: “He apparently was writing a book and missed the cord-cutting phenomenon.”
CES press-conference day featured plenty of new product announcements, and, while “smart” TVs may have been a consistent hot topic, the 3D announcements suggested that 3D has some staying power. And a number of innovations are proving that some of the gating factors, such as expensive glasses, may eventually be a thing of the past.
Cisco and Comcast unveil new technology meant to keep subscribers in the fold.
Most people who wanted a flat-screen TV have one, and 3D and Internet connections are not catching on with consumers.
Time Warner Cable will deliver its entire video programming lineup to customers with Sony’s Internet-connected Bravia HDTVs this year.
The Mobile500 Alliance says it has rapidly expanded its membership since it first launched in September 2010. The group now represents broadcast companies that own 414 stations covering 92% of the U.S.
Manufacturers don’t plan to completely supplant the 3D TVs that require the heavier, battery-powered glasses, which went on sale last year for the first time.
Comcast says it plans to offer live television programming on iPads and other computer tablets later this year. For the iPad alone, Comcast says it will provide nearly 3,000 hours of TV content on demand.
Digital security technology specialist Nagra-Kudelski will handle “conditional access” as the Mobile Content Venture outlines that and other technical details of its upcoming mobile DTV service.
The Open Mobile Video Coalition, led by Anne Schelle (left), will highlight mobile DTV tech during the annual convention in Las Vegas this week, explaining the technology and displaying the growing number of devices equipped to receive mobile DTV. It will release more encouraging results from its recent consumer trial, and it will open up its ranks to non-broadcasters — device manufacturers, app developers, content providers and others hoping to exploit the new platform. Backing it up will be representatives of two consortia of broadcasters — the Mobile Content Venture and the Mobile500 Alliance — committed to bringing the mobile DTV services to market this year.