Active-TV Technology for iPhone and iPod touch

Active-TV Technology for iPhone and iPod touch
Navigate YouTube

Navigate YouTube available at iTunes App Sore

An easy to use iPhone and iPod touch App that enables both new and advanced YouTube users to get the best from YouTube.

Browse video Standard Feeds, Categories, Channels and Playlists. Then organize new videos into your own favorites and playlists. Make playlists private or public. Subscribe to other user's playlists and video collections for future viewing. Subscribe to videos matching search-words.

Look at publicly viewable favorite videos, playlists and subscriptions based on your YouTube friends, family and contacts. Send and receive video links with YouTube contacts via YouTube video messages.

Search for new videos tagged for your language or geographical region, using local keyboard. Explore for new videos via easy switching of user ID to the owner of interesting videos - then explore their world.

All actions are kept in sync with PC, Mac or Apple-TV access to YouTube. Available at Apple App Store.

active-TV technology for PC

active-TV technology for PC
Windows PC based home network

Friday, December 2, 2005

Extended-PC and other terminology

Active-TV ecosystem developers,

There seems to be confusion over terminology relating to digital convergence. I offer my explanation of terminology below.

Extended-PC – A PC which ‘extends’ its value by networking to other non-PC clients around the house. The clients support entertainment consumption. The PC runs Windows XP or better. The Extended-PC can also network with other PCs.

Extended-Notebook – A Notebook which ‘extends’ its value by networking to other non-PC clients around the house. The Notebook runs Windows XP or better.

Extender – an entertainment client connected to an Extended-PC. In this case, the client uses Microsoft Extender middleware and the PC uses the Media Center Edition (MCE) OS.
  1. The UI of the Extender is identical to the 10’ UI of the MCE PC.
DMA – a Digital Media Adapter differs from an Extender in that it does not use Microsoft middleware or require MCE on the connected PC.
  1. A DMA, like an Extender, has only 10’ value – there is no keyboard or 2’ UI support.
  2. It primary function is to support the consumption of entertainment content
Networked STB – a Set-Top Box used to receive broadcast TV programs. The dedicated 10’ platform also has the capabilities of a DMA - described above.
  1. As explained below (hybrid-Notebook), this is the ideal entertainment client for combining with a notebook.
MCE – The Media Center Edition OS enables a PC to connect with a Microsoft Extender. The MCE OS also provides the PC with the alternative 10-foot UI. This enables the PC to be used in 3 modes: Extended-PC, Hybrid-PC or PC Media Server.

PC Media Server – A PC placed at a 10-foot location such as a living room. It is controlled by an IR remote and has no keyboard or mouse.
  1. Lack of a keyboard means this PC has no 2-foot value - Consumers do not believe they are buying a PC.
  2. Use of the Windows Operating System (or MCE) means this platform has much of the maintenance requirements of a PC.
  3. This platform has the BOM (cost) of a PC but must compete with BOM of alternative 10’-only appliances or Extender.
  4. This platform is considerably more powerful and flexible than a traditional 10’-only appliance.
  5. Microsoft moved away from this idea when they dropped the 2-foot thin client (Mira) which was intended to be a companion to the PC Media Server.
A Hybrid-PC – A PC directly used to support the 10’ and 2’ UI. Typically 2 video outputs are required: one for the TV and one for the 2’ monitor.

  1. Clearly its 2-foot role requires it to have a keyboard.
  2. In support of its 10-foot role, its 10’ UI is controlled by an IR remote.
  3. The Hybrid-PC can be located in a living room and connected to a TV.
  4. If the TV is High-Def then the 2’ monitor is not needed to maintain the PC operation. (maintenance is a 2’ operation)
  5. Alternatively, the TV is not needed if the TV programs are presented on the 2’ monitor – student dorm-room style. (This hybrid form was the first way used to show-off the MCE. Microsoft can now use the Extender and Xbox360 to show the Extended-PC approach)
  6. A Hybrid-PC can also be an Extended-PC if it supports a 2nd 10’ UI via a networked Extender.
  7. Consumers believe they are buying a PC and are willing to pay for 2-foot value with the additional benefit of 10’ UI support.
A Hybrid-Notebook – Has little promotion in the market. A notebook is not typically controlled by an IR remote. Nor does it have an additional video output connected to a TV in the living room. However, HP did experiment with this approach.

  1. Notebooks are better suited to Extended-Notebook operation. Were the 10’ UI is projected to an Extender or other entertainment thin-client.
  2. A TV tuner can be added to a notebook, but it is difficult to deal with cable or satellite TV by this route.
Modern Living iMac – A hybrid-iMac. It has a keyboard and supports the usual iMac 2' UI. It also supports Apples 10' UI (Front Row) on the 2' monitor. Apple says it deliberately decided to leave out the TV function, which it doesn't believe many people want on a computer. The entertainment content does not come from TV broadcast but is iMac resident or network accessed.

  1. Like other hybrid offerings, there are a diminished number of users who want 10’ features built into a platform primarily purchased for its 2’ value.
Projecting a UI – A method by which an Extended-PC produces the 10’ UI seen on the TV connected to a networked entertainment client. This is what happens with an Extender.

  1. Currently, consumers find it easier to think of the 10’UI as extra TV channels.
PC STB – Assuming the PC is running the Windows OS, then this is another name for a PC Media Server.

X86 STB or x86 Media Server – This is the same hardware as the PC STB or PC Media Server, but the operating system is likely Lynx. Because the Windows OS is not used, consumers do not consider this to be a PC or have 2’ value.

  1. Without the Windows OS, this high-end STB is attractive to many users who don’t want the maintenance of a PC.
  2. What is left-out of a 10’ box is as important as what is ‘in’. Leaving Windows ‘out’ focuses the box on its 10’ usage. Similar thinking can be seen in Apple’s Front Row, were they left many 2’-like things out which appear in the MCE 10’ UI.
  3. It is also likely easier to convince the security minded, that an box not running Windows or supporting a 2-foot UI, limits illegal access to protected video content.
Home Theater PC – Assuming it uses a Windows OS, the name is a little ambiguous. If it has a keyboard and mouse, then it is a Hybird-PC. With no keyboard and mouse, it is a PC Media Server.

Media Center PC – Microsoft do not try and sell the MCE without promoting its 2’ value – it’s a not a dedicated 10’ appliance. So the Media Center PC is a Hybrid-PC if it directly supports a 10’ UI, or an Extended-PC if it projects the 10’ UI to an Extender.

10-foot box – a box in the living room connected to a TV controlled by IR remote.

2-foot experience – using a keyboard, mouse and PC monitor

Middleware – connects Extended-PC with entertainment client

H264 - emerging high-def video codec, which may replace MPEG2

High def TV - TV signal supporting 720p or 1080i TV picture

ATSC - Broadcast standard used for high def terrestrial TV in USA

- Digital Broadcast TV in Europe using terrestrial signaling (antenna)

Comments, corrections and feedback appreciated.

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