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

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

An alternative to "please use my portal"

Active-TV Ecosystem Developers,

The Issue: Ambitions strategies to secure a key or exclusive role in the delivery of internet video are still the game for many.

Background: Some experienced companies are seeing collaboration is the better way to reach an audience.

Behind the Scenes: Active-TV technology is the glue enabling collaboration between video distributors and living-room hardware (e.g. TV) developers.

A Wall Street Journal article states that several major TV industry companies are “betting that they can build their own Internet video portals”. However, CBS plans to revise its Innertube portal strategy, with the use of widespread syndication rather than a single portal. After a year experimenting with a portal approach, CBS has concluded “forcing consumers to come to one site -- its own -- to view video hasn't worked.”

Access to video portals is mostly accomplished with a PC using broadband service. The accompanying UI is typically formatted for PC usage, assuming a keyboard and mouse will drive the UI. Many portals are not accessed via the PC browser, but via a “player” (PC software built specifically for accessing the portal). In some cases, such as Yahoo Go for TV, UIs have been formatted for the TV; But since the approach requires a PC to be attached to the living room TV, there are few users.

CBS is reported to have “abandoned attempts to build its own blockbuster portal”, but it has signed deals with smaller video distribution companies like Veoh. This enables a path for CBS video to reach the living room TV, as Veoh as well as supporting PC-web formatting, has a TV-web formatted option.

I suggest the scramble to secure a significant role in the delivery of internet video to TVs around the home, has produced overly ambitions strategies. Different companies are hoping to have the one portal that matters or the one TV UI that everyone uses or the one TV advertising delivery mechanism that has the numbers. Maybe the MBAs in these companies are required to promote exclusive ideas in order to support their projection of business growth. But without a widely accepted rout to the TV in use, there is no clear yardstick to measure ambitions proposals.

Participation in the scramble is particularly difficult because most companies don’t build or market the necessary hardware needed to deliver video to the TV. Without this piece of the puzzle it is hard to control the outcome. This likely contributed to Apple introducing its Apple TV platform, enabling the user to access the Apple portal.

Most companies are not able to make the deals needed to extend their strategy to include delivery of video to a large number of TV or Set-Top Box (STB) in living rooms. If the manufacturer or supplier of a networked STB constrains its access to a preferred portal, it may not meet with user approval. Each TV viewer may want to exert his or her own choice. This conundrum adds an amount of irony to the scramble.

The introduction of networked STBs supporting the popular DVB-t transmission brings a solution to the European market. These STBs are bought at retail, and there is little business pressure to constrain them to a single portal. They are popular due to the uptake of free-to-air digital broadcast TV. Using active-TV technology with a DVB-t STB, the buyer is free to access any TV-web formatted channel. Technically speaking, a similar approach using free-to-air ATSC, or cablecard, and active-TV technology could be used in the US market. Such boxes are available from Avtrex and others, but US STB users expect the box to be provided by a cable TV service, and do not buy a STB in retail. This is why US reports often speak of the networked game console leading the uptake of internet video delivery to the living room TV.

Just as PC-web pages that are only accessible by one type of PC browser would meet will little web user approval, producing a TV-web channel which can only be viewed through a single player or unique hardware, will reach a reduced TV audience. This may ultimately determine the lesson to be learned by developers of video portals and eliminate the cry "please use my portal". The home user wants the freedom to select their internet video source and be assured it will always be viewable via the hardware and TV in their living room.

Active-TV technology provides TV-web with the same universal access and opportunity available to PC with PC-web. It is the glue for collaboration. It enables the video distributors to be confident their channel will operate with living room hardware. It provides the independent hardware developer with video to demonstrate their product in action.

Feedback, corrections and comments welcome. Contact me for more information or support with active-TV technology development.
Daniel Mann


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