Wednesday, May 14, 2008

web-to-tv 3.0

WebTV, founded in 1995 and later acquired by Microsoft, was the first attempt at bringing web media to the television. As described in PC World "getting the Web to display on a typical TV in 1995 was like watching an elephant tap-dance--you were amazed not that it could do it well but that it could do it at all. With the WebTV, Web pages looked horsey, some media formats didn't work at all, and using the remote control to hop from link to link was excruciating."

Today's Web-To-TV solutions are more robust though limitations in control persist. Do people want to stream the PC to their TV - or do you just want to turn on the TV and easily search, select and share web media with your family and friends? How do you type in a URL with a one button remote? Which hardware solution / media restriction do you want to live with? Is YouTube really worth watching on your 54" 1080p display?

A byline in the Financial Times today offered an interesting definition - Web 2.0 is a world dominated by user-generated content, while Web 3.0 will be a world where professional content dominates. The Web-To-TV evolution is poised to make the same transition - from today's YouTube cats-on-a-treadmill to professional actors, lights, camera and action - all on your big screen TV in full HD. Now where did I put I put the remote?


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