Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Interactive TV is Knocking at the Door... and Adobe is Delivering

Corny title for a post. Sounds like it should be in a newspaper or bad magazine article... but its all I got right now so deal.

I have stumbled across a few interesting articles involving the merge between Web and TV over the past few days that I would like to touch on.

The first one can be found on CNN Money. They go over MLB's latest update to their web video platform. The main paragraph that I found interesting is the following:

"Beyond pausing and rewinding live games like you could with a DVR, subscribers can watch up to four games at a time with "mosaic" picture-in-picture; select different audio channels, including synced-up radio commentary streams; and follow their favorite players (or fantasy team) as they play their games, including live video peeks. Nothing comes close."

To me, this is incredible. Being able to select which radio commentary to stream? The ability to just following your favorite players? Sounds like we are finally able to start customizing our TV experience.

However, not everyone is happy about this. There is a link from the CNN article to Business Insider which
states how NBC wants to prevent Boxee from accessing Hulu. This is a joke. I watch Hulu on my TV via a laptop that sits next to my TV and streams the connection. Basically, you can try to stop Boxee, but you won't stop the tidal wave of internet content hitting the TV. The dam will break, its just a matter of when. So why not embrace it? Instead of fighting over this pettiness they should be coming up way to capitalize on the Web/TV experience.

How can they make Hulu more interactive and customizable, similar to MLB? How can they get rid of the tradition commercial model that is seen as an unwanted interruption and nuisance? At the very least can we personalize which ads we see similar to Google adSense? Or could we even break the model and start advertising in non-traditional ways?

I don't know the answers to these questions. And obviously NBC doesn't know either, otherwise they would not be scared of Boxee or the future in general.

The interesting thing to note for us Flash Developers is that we are going to play a key role in this entire transition/revolution. Adobe has positioned itself well as shown by the following related article: Home Run for Flash Video Player.

We are the ones who will be called upon to figure this out. We are the ones who will create the interactive content seen on TV. Exciting times are ahead.

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