Apple Developing TV On Demand?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Vanilla, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. Vanilla macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    I spotted an article on a new service by Search engine Blinkx that potentially enables you to call up any TV show, film or radio programme ever broadcast on major channels. Of interest is that it claims in a passing comment in the 3rd from last paragraph that Apple are developing in this area.

    Evening Standard

    TV on demand
    By Mark Prigg Technology Correspondent, Evening Standard
    13 January 2005

    A British company has developed a search engine that lets internet users call up any TV show, film or radio programme ever broadcast on major channels.

    As with internet search engines, subscribers to the service will be able to type in key information to access a programme, or even a single scene, that they wish to view.

    For example, users could type in "Who shot JR?", or a phrase such as Victor Meldrew's "I don't believe it," and the relevant scenes would be instantly accessed, with a 20-second clip to view and the choice of seeing an entire episode.

    The system is at small-scale trial stage, but is expected to be launched on the internet in the near future.

    Blinkx, the firm that developed the website, has already signed up the BBC, ITV, Sky and Fox to supply content. There will a massive archive of past material, and as future programmes are broadcast, the key search criteria will automatically be downloaded into the database.

    Experts today described the idea as "a huge step forward for the television industryî, and predicted it could eventually replace broadcast TV entirely.

    "This is basically turning the computer into a really, really big video recorder with thousands of programmes you can search and watch at any time,î said Suranga Chandratillake, the British co-founder of Blinkx. "This could do for television what Google did for the web."

    The trial service uses advanced speech recognition technology to electronically listen to programmes as they are being broadcast, allowing Blinkx to search video clips for the relevant scenes. The company is about to begin adding archives from some broadcasters. The BBC has already announced plans to store its programmes online as part of a project called the Creative Archive, which Blinkx confirmed it was working on.

    Eventually the system will be able to archive thousands of hours of films, TV and live broadcasts, all of which can be searched easily. "This is very much like the web searches users are used to, but they can search all video, be it news programmes, films or past episodes of EastEnders," said Mr Chandratillake.

    "We can capture all of the speech in a news programme, which lets you see just the item you are interested in. Or if you want to see a scene in a soap opera again we can show you just that."

    Olivier Beauvillan, a media analyst with Jupiter Research, said: "It is really going to be the future of TV, and a lot of people including Google, Microsoft and Apple are developing similar products.

    "It means consumers don't have to rely on broadcast TV - they can simply watch whatever programme they want, whenever they want. But technically I think the key is to be able to charge people effectively."

    The trial service, which can be seen online at, lets users watch content either for free, or providing they watch a short advert. However, the company said it had developed a system to allow broadcasters to charge viewers per programme.
  2. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    I hope that Apple will come up with something that makes the Mac like a TV. Just went to, when doing the first search found that didn't have the correct plugin. Then I found that there is a blinx beta for the Mac. Which I downloaded and installed. The search is very quick, but didn't find an actual TV show, just information on shows. One interesting item, the upcoming "Survivor" series "Survivor: Palau" that premieres Thursday, Feb. 17 on CBS will have 20 survivors instead of the usual 16. Here is the link to the Mac version.

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