How the Internet is changing TV

Chris Caceres · November 12, 2009 · Short URL:

NewTeeVee Live: Emerging players in the online video space share what they're working on

 Online video consumption is growing rapidly.  But when will it overtake traditional television consumption?  Over at GigaOm's NewTeeVee Live conference in San Francisco, some key players in the Internet television space shared what they're working on as well as predictions about emerging television trends.

Elemental Technologies, a company that creates hi-quality video solutions by harnessing massively parallel off the shelf hardware, like nVidia graphics cards, isn't betting at all on the Internet destroying paid TV business models.  Sam Blackman, CEO of Elemental is under the notion that consumers want hi-quality.  So if traditional networks get into the space of charging for this hi-quality video across all devices, consumers will pay for it.  Elemental can play a role because its servers can handle the transcoding required to get content, live across the Web and on mobile devices.

Freewheel, an online ad management platform which works with customers like CBS, MLB and now Warner Music, believes one day all content will be delivered through the Internet.  Freewheel is preaching to the television networks that a unique opportunity awaits companies that harness the power of consumer control.

Boxee, creates a desktop application which optimizes Internet television for the big screen.  CEO Avner Ronen paints a familiar picture of someone watching television but at the same time on their laptop blogging, tweeting or whatever it may be.  The point being, there's more than one screen going on and this is the future of television.  Ronen had some bold predictions: by 2015 there will be an Internet show bigger than the most popular television show.  By 2015, if Apple launches a paid online television subscription service there will be more subscribers on that, than on Comcast.  And finally, once again by 2015 people will be paying to watch quality online video and existing media companies should not worry.

Inlet Technologies is powering those neat online interactive sporting experiences.  For example, Inlet says it powers the Sunday Night Football online player, which lets viewers change camera angles and interact in all sorts of ways.  To Inlet, quality counts.  So if a user has a great experience, they'll be consuming for longer times which result in more opportunity for the networks.  Matt Smith, CEO of Inlet believes by 2010 broadcasters will embrace this notion and we'll be seeing all sorts of interactive features in online video consumption like those seen in the SNF player.

Canesta has a more futuristic vision of television consumption.  The company is looking to remove entirely the television remote from the viewing experience and replacing it with a TV that recognizes the viewer and understands their gestures, what it refers to as "the other side of 3D."  So basically, I point at the channel I want to watch with my hands, never picking up a remote.  The company has raised $60 million to help build these technologies out with the help of Venrock, Hotung Venture Group and several other investors. 


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