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MacBytes
May 14, 2007, 08:34 AM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: iTunes-like video services have no future: study (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20070514093412)
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Passante
May 14, 2007, 10:03 AM
I don't think the report factors in Apple TV. If I miss a TV show or have a problem recording it with EyeTV I will buy it on iTunes for two reasons. Both my wife and I will not watch "free programs" on our computer. Even a 20 monitor is too small plus the tower is not set up for multiple people to comfortabley view and our laptops don't have a wide enough field of view. We want to watch it in our TV room where we are comfortable.

The second reason is commericals. No way will I sit through them. We hardly watch anything in real time as it is. "Free" programs require the viewer to watch commercials.

mkrishnan
May 14, 2007, 10:21 AM
Yeah, I think two more things are movies vs. television and video quality:

Video Quality -- the free services are pretty much all low definition and not suitable for full screen viewing. They're not very compatible with televisions, even if you already have a cable running to the TV. They're not compatible with iPods or other portable devices. Granted that iTunes has inconsistent quality and needs to move to hi-def more quickly, it has advantages in all of these areas.

Movies vs. TV -- I agree there's a fair chance free will win out over paid in TV, although I think that the video quality and the other issues above will play a big role. But for movies, I see free legal services as unlikely. A rental model like MS's XBOX system, Jaman, or Netflix Watch Now is a much more serious competitor. I see room for co-existence, definitely, though, of purchased content. I don't think that game is clear at all at this point. Think about how big portable DVD players got. Why? It wasn't really the technorati who bought them to watch them on flights. It was moms and dads who bought them for car trips for kids. If the iPod can take that market on, I see a big opportunity for Apple. A device that can hold multiple movies and work for several hours would be huge vs. carrying a DVD player and several movie boxes. With little kids, issues like screen size are smaller. In any event, I just don't see the moviescape as having fully been played out yet. I don't think any one service out there right now really addresses the big concerns.

ToneFREQ
May 14, 2007, 11:04 AM
It's seems odd that people aren't talking about video rentals. I think that is what a lot of people want as far as most movies are concerned. It is just a short wait until Apple starts offering movie rentals. That's something with a huge future.

Qunchuy
May 14, 2007, 02:36 PM
Confusion over different video file formats, difficulties watching downloaded videos on television screens and other technical problems have kept average users from paying for shows online.
This sounds like the pre-iPod (and definitely pre-iTunes) situation for purchasing digital music downloads. Enter Apple TV: suddenly the confusing array of file formats is smoothed over by iTunes, television screens are the reason for its existence, and don't forget Apple's typical no-problems experience.

I'm not saying it's a slam dunk, but Apple does have a proven track record in reinventing underperforming niches and turning them into mainstream markets.

mkrishnan
May 14, 2007, 02:49 PM
This is where the new network connected set top boxes are going to play a huge role. We can now deliver quality content directly to the family room. This puts indie filmmakers, video podcasters and unsigned bands on an equal playing ground with big media.

Actually, I think it gives you a huge benefit in your lack of inertia. (Note, ironically, IIRC, the porn industry has offered Windows streaming downloads and rentals of films otherwise released on DVD for some time!)

To your credit and also to services like Jaman, the indie crowd has moved fast and well, bringing good quality offerings to the market that make great use of available technology.

Now comes the much heavier other shoe...which is how fast and in what direction the big-budget film industry will adopt.

ImNoSuperMan
May 14, 2007, 05:16 PM
I might be going off the track a lil bit but I think IPTV is going to work far better than any apple TV, Satellite TV, Cable TV or even Tivo. Is it not yet available in US? It has started on a trial basis in my city and will be available very soon.

Now I havent yet used it but from what I hear it gives you access to all the programming on tv for the last 30 days. You can see any program which aired on any channel within one month. I dont think any personal recording service(like tivo) will match that.

Plus the provider will be offering movies, music and older TV shows on demand. I have been waiting for it since 6 months and will still be waiting till the end of this year to actually have IPTV installed. The only advantage Tivo/iTMS will have over it will be that you can keep the video content with you as long as you want. But other than that IPTV seems to be emerging as the clear winner.

Passante
May 14, 2007, 06:11 PM
And on the same day the iPod Observer posts this CBS Flubs First TV Portal (http://www.ipodobserver.com/story/31463) :confused:

mkrishnan
May 14, 2007, 07:06 PM
Now I havent yet used it but from what I hear it gives you access to all the programming on tv for the last 30 days. You can see any program which aired on any channel within one month. I dont think any personal recording service(like tivo) will match that.

It does sound like eventually it will revolutionize cable even far more than DVRs did. And that's saying something.... From what I understand, the quality is sort of the low end of digital television, meaning probably still better for the most part than analog cable. I do wonder, though, how well the TCP/IP infrastructure is going to be able to handle the millions upon millions of individuals who watch the biggest shows on television live. I guess it'll be years before IPTV is deployed in that way, and who knows what the internet's infrastructure will look like at that point, but....

Mr.Texor
May 14, 2007, 07:08 PM
Studies taken out of researchers' asses sell lots of copies, create internet trolling: Texor

Qunchuy
May 15, 2007, 10:50 AM
The only advantage Tivo/iTMS will have over it will be that you can keep the video content with you as long as you want.
That's an enormous advantage, as long as you recognize that the emphasis can be on the words "keep the video content with you". A recorded/downloaded program can be portable; a streamed video needs a high-speed internet connection active. IPTV isn't of much use while traveling.

shamino
May 16, 2007, 10:58 AM
Streaming will never dominate the market, whether paid or free.

Most people won't want to sit in front of the comptuer to watch their movies and TV shows.

And people want to buy movies if a format that allows them to transport it. A movie on my iPod can be played at home, on the train, at a friend's house, or in the car. The small screen doesn't matter, because a simple cable can attach the iPod to a large TV monitor.

Look at the trend of including DVD players in minivans. Parents like the idea of playing movies to keep children entertained on long trips. If they download anything, it will have to be just as convenient - either burned to DVD or playable on an iPod. Something that has to be streamed into the computer just won't cut it, even if it's free.

mkrishnan
May 18, 2007, 07:10 PM
Streaming will never dominate the market, whether paid or free.

You know, I'm shocked to be saying this, but right now, I am watching season 1, episode 2 of Heroes on my 32" 720p LCD, fullscreen (16:9).

The source is fullscreen flash video from the NBC.com website (the LCD is the secondary display on my iMac). And it's actually not bad. It's better than analog cable quality. It varies from just better than that to close to a lower-quality DVD. It's much more usable than I had expected it to be. Good enough for me to watch Heroes this way (I had never seen it, but wanted to check it out because a friend loves it).

shamino
May 20, 2007, 12:38 AM
You know, I'm shocked to be saying this, but right now, I am watching season 1, episode 2 of Heroes on my 32" 720p LCD, fullscreen (16:9).
As much as you want to believe otherwise, most people will not set up a computer in the living room, using their TV as a secondary monitor.

Your system setup is far from typical, and will probably never be the way most people choose to get their TV programs.

I didn't say nobody would want to do this. I said most people won't want to. I stand by that assertion.

spydr
May 20, 2007, 02:04 PM
I think there is one more trend that many are not talking about - video podcasts. They look terrific on apple TV. Already there are a few different revenue models out there - Independent studios putting out Talk shows, Tech shows, Workout video and Yoga classes - some of these seem to have good potential, are getting good reviews and won some ad support to sustain. Major studios are only giving out preview-like bite-sized pieces of some of their shows just to popularize them. Thirdly there are videos of what we previously never had in TV - like The New Yorker cartoons and other experimental stuff.
I think ad supported content will be a big thing in future through itunes store. I think it will only be a matter of time we get an option to chooses either ad free episodes for a premium or get free episodes that get spliced in with commercials either from the studio or at the dowload portal.

mkrishnan
May 20, 2007, 03:05 PM
Your system setup is far from typical, and will probably never be the way most people choose to get their TV programs

Oh, my polemic friend. ;) Of course my setup is atypical. That's not my point.

The broadcast, as it exists today, via Flash, is already good enough for watching on a 720p television, and on par with Apple's delivery. If this technology were stable, there's currently nothing stopping someone in principle from creating an inexpensive flash playing "internet tv box" that builds a custom interface around what NBC, CBS, and others are already providing.

My point was that the technology of streaming television content over the internet, issues of the overall bandwidth of multicast home delivery aside, is already good enough for this purpose. Streaming video, based on Flash or based on Microsoft's Silverlight or whatever, is not limited to the kind of quality that Youtube provides.

shamino
May 21, 2007, 09:23 AM
My point was that the technology of streaming television content over the internet, issues of the overall bandwidth of multicast home delivery aside, is already good enough for this purpose. Streaming video, based on Flash or based on Microsoft's Silverlight or whatever, is not limited to the kind of quality that Youtube provides.
Please show me where I said picture quality is an issue? I never said any such thing, and I never used that as a reason why internet streaming won't become popular. Note that I pointed out the iPod as an example of popular video downloads, and iPod quality is far from ideal.

I said people will not be willing to sit in front of the computer to watch movies, and that people will not go installing computers in their living room. I also said that people want to watch movies in places where there is no network connection (like in cars, and on airplanes.)

While people will use a set-top box provided by a cable company, if that box completely hides the internet and behaves like a traditional tuner, that box will have to be as reliable as today's cable/satellite decoders. Meaning you can't have drop-outs every time you try to view something popular enough to overload the server.

And a set-top box won't do a thing for the families that want to use movies to pacify the children on a long road trip. Only local-storage technologies (DVD, download, etc.) will be applicable to that problem.