Monday, August 16, 2010

Cable Wants Tablets

On Demand is extending past the TV set and cable may finally see the light. Keeping their customer entertained, whether tethered to the cable box or not, matters most. And the Tablet seems the next generation device that has caught cable's eye. "At least seven of the ten largest subscription-TV providers in the U.S. are building new tablet-computer applications that offer select TV shows and movies to their existing subscribers, often for little or no additional fee."

Companies like Comcast, Time Warner, and others are finally investing their time and dollars into the space. For example, "Comcast's new application will ask subscribers to log in, and include a search function to display all the available episodes of a show—whether they're on live TV, on traditional video-on-demand or available to watch on the iPad." Let's hope that this investment extends to other smartphone devices as well. Ultimately though, I like the idea of incorporating the sling technology that enables live TV to be viewed remotely. I can wait for on demand when I am back at home, but I like the idea of not missing live events when I'm outside the home.

Distribution companies will also be challenged by the content they are sharing outside the box. Content companies will be offering its content through its own web sites and through other means. It will lead to confusion, a huge supply with little help in search and expertise to lead a viewer through the vast number of offerings. It is hard enough to find things on a cable box, let alone on the web. Choice and convenience are important, but expertise is needed as well.

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