Its fun to watch all the discussion, hyperbole and hopes associated with Apple TV. Once again Apple has come out with a well designed, functional product. Unfortunately for Apple, it may be too little too late.
Lets face some facts. The era of the desktop PC being the home for exciting change and enhancement are long gone. I wrote this for the first time 2 years ago, and nothing has changed since then.
Then in January of this year, I asked why people are so concerned about getting internet video from PCs to HDTVs , rather than taking traditional video from existing sources and distributing it to PCs. Basically saying that its a lot easier to get from TV to PC via any number of existing DVR and other devices than the other way around.
Yet Apple and others still seem to think that simplifying internet video through a PC to a device to an HDTV is the way to go. Is this the future of home entertainment.
Please. Its shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. Its a waste of time.
There is an old saying that when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Right now the hammer is internet video and everyone wants to find a way to make it the future. Its old news people. Its a mature product in a mature environment.
Now don’t get me wrong. Youtube, despite its copyright problems that could shut it down (i had to slip that in there :), has been a marketing miracle. They have done the completely unexpected and aggregated 10s of millions of monthly users. The same could be same of Myspace. They deserve a ton of credit for what they have accomplished. But the operative word is marketing. Embedded music and video was a catalyst for both. How long has the opportunity to embed videos in an html page been around, 8 years ? No original technology, but a new application of old features is what great ideas and great marketing thrive on.
That is what has made Web 2.0 so interesting. Web 2.0 isnt about technology. Its about ideas implemented around simple applications that have been around for years. The maturity of the technology makes the implementation of ideas simple. That is the key to success in Web 2.0. The technology always works. It may sound crazy to some, but thats the reality. The internet as a connectivity utility and the browser are mature application platforms.
So where will the change come ? What will the be the host for new applications ? Its right in front of our faces, literally. Its the HDTV that you will be buying in the future.
Remember when you would buy a new PC every couple years to keep up and you would buy a new TV every decade ? Well thats about to reverse itself. You no longer feel the need to get the latest and greatest desktop PC, but you are about to get in the habit of upgrading your TV every couple years as new and original features and applications are developed for it.
Dont agree ? Think about the last analog set you bought and what it looked like, could do and cost and compare it to the new HDTV you either just bought or are considering buying. Which has experienced the greatest technological change. The leap from your last analog TV to your next TV or your last PC to your current or next PC ?. The price performance of HDTVs are going to continue at the pace we saw for PCs in the late 90s and early 2000s. In 3 years the mainstream TV will be 70″ and cost less than $1500. In 5 years, it could be 100″ for $2500 dollars . Yes, you will make room for it. You will redesign the family room or your bedroom to make room.
The price performance curve will drive competition for incremental features as well.
We are getting to the point where features that would have been added to PCs in the past will be added to your HDTV. Advances in wireless technology will be more important to your new TV than your desktop PC once your TV has an IP address and internet connectivity, which is right around the corner.
New and unique applications will be developed for your TV ahead of your PC once every HDTV has a browser built in starting in 18 – 24 months.
If you want to see where exciting software is being developed, its not web 2.0. Its being developed for OCAP, Directv and Dish Networks interactive platforms among many. You probably didnt even realize that many of these development platforms are already being built into HDTVs and applications are starting to be released for them.
Its time for everyone to realize that the internet is old news. Its a mature utility, which is the greatest compliment you can give it. The desktop PC is old news. File it next to DVD players: useful and boring with obsolescence right around the corner. Web 2.0 is pleasingly boring.
If the question is “Whats Next “, the answer begins with “Watch TV”