Time is up! TV and Web will merge!

TV and Internet have been two different kind of services. The TV experience has been some kind of old fashioned, with no on demand services, I have to be on time to watch a pogramme or had to record my favorite programme if I was not able to follow the TV schedule. HD recording and time shift functions pushed the TV experience a little bit into the future and made it more comfortable but it was still kind of effort to trigger the recording (I had to be at home to operate the device).
The Internet changed this world. We had Christmas and the Soccer World Cup will come up next year. This is the time when people buy new, better and larger TV sets. Most of them will be able to access the Internet and this is the point where the common TV experience will change.

What does this mean for Broadcasters?

1. Linear TV will NOT die! High quality TV content will still make people watch TV (just thinking about the enormous quotes of the last Homeland season in the US)

2. The backward channel will establish new TV services in the living room and will open new business models and marketing channels.

This means the era when TV and Internet were operating in two separate worlds is over.
On demand usage will grow rapidly (if the broadcaster offers this services, which most of them already do)
The 2nd screen will be more import and will be merge with the TV experience.

And again, was does this mean for the broadcasters?
The classic Internet homepage of the broadcaster will die. Things broadcasters will need in the future are:
1. A good on demand service (media center)
2. Ability to use the backward channel
3. Related content services, depending on the content (games, background information, additional video services)
4. Communication – not just with the broadcaster, furthermore there will be more and more communication between the viewers.
All this has already been part of the good  broadcaster internet homepage. But these services need to be optimized for these devices now:

The TV set
The Tablet
The Smartphone

That’s all we have do! Internet will not kill the TV Star!

Kids are using the second screen!

Today our 9 year old son Paul was allowed to watch the Champions League game on Free TV. As a great soccer fan he always wants to know everything about every game played. When we had Sky the CL conference broadcast was his favourite programme and he really wasn‘t amused when we decided to cancel the contract with Sky, Anyway, today I saw him sitting in front of the TV with his NIntendo 3DS, complaining that he wants to go online to check all the other intermediate results of todays Champions League matchday. Finaly he was succesful and satisfied.

So, thinking about the second screen and kids. Is it a good idea to provide full internet access to kids? I think most people will say „no“ which is absolutely right! Following my thoughts in other articles there is only one way.
The TV set is still the main Screen at home for watching great TV events. There will be a second screen which will work as remote control for the TV programme. provding additional information and related content to the programme. But also advertising and social media tools. Nevertheless it also the screen for interactive services, games, and polls.

The second screen must be personalised. Depending on who is sitting in front of the TV he needs to login and his TV content services will be enabled. This is trivial for adults as they will have access to all contents and services. But for kids and parents  it is interesting and important. Parents can customize the screen for the kids with regards to:

- Age rating
- Available Channels
- Time of use (e.g. 1 hour per day)
- Online access
- Available apps and services

So, Paul would be happy if would hve someting like this. For his usecase it would have been like this:
Watch ZDF starting at 20:15, change programme during halftime to KIKA, send goal alerts to the second screen including short video clips showing how other teams scrore during the matchday. He would love it!

And finally, a parent alert: Paul go to bed! you have to go to school tomorrow!
Good night!

I Love My Apple TV

I love my Apple TV! This little black box changed the way how to use the TV Set in our living room. First of all, it is small, and some kind of smart. Installation is easy and if apple products are part of the household the fun can  begin. I can watch movies out of my iTunes library on my TV, can connect the iPad or the iPhone with my Apple TV and much more.

The thing is I have control over my programme with this little black box and since Watchever is part of the Apple TV menue the kids can watch their favorite series whenever they want. And that‘s the point: It‘s just „kind of smart“, not really: I can‘t record programmes. Sure, record programme is really  old fashioned. Nearly every TV broadcaster in germany has its own mediathek. And depending on the rights I can watch my favorite programme whenever I want. But the quality of those services is really different. If good, it is fun to stream the programme from the iPad or the iPhone to the Apple TV Box. But in this case the device is blocked, no 2nd screen action would be available.

So, there is something good and something missing. Good is my „old“ TV is connected to the internet now. On demand service like Youtube, Watchever or the good old iTunes store are now on my TV. I can even control or stream programme with my iPad or iPhone, witch is good.

What is missing? The master device, which controls my programme, on demand services and my social media activities. Which is giving me advice about programmes I like and recommends programmes I might like. The master device that is pushing personalized advertising and message on the screen. But NOT on my TV if I don‘t want it! All personalized services and social media activity will have their home on my master device, some would call it the 2nd screen, I call it my phone ;) This is the future in TV and online experience!

But until this is the case I will love my Apple TV!

HbbTV New Standard – new Visions?

Since 2010 there is a new standard for TV sets called HbbTV (Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV). This means that all TV Sets delivered in Europe (besides the UK where MHP is the choosen solution) will have access to the internet following the HbbTV standard. Some facts about this issues:
In Germany we have 4,5 Million HbbTV sets. It is expected that 23 Million HbbTV sets will have been sold in 2015.
What does this mean for the viewer? What can he do with his brand new TV Sets? Given the fact, that there is a connection to the web he can do everything, theoretically.
There will be access to the media centers of TV broadcaster, take part in polls and quiz shows in real time is possible, getting more information about a TV Show or having access to my social networks and my favorite websites and shopping pages, use interactive services and get personalized advertising on his TV screen would possible now!
Very nice, but, It won‘t work like this! First of all the good old „red button“ which is established as the trigger for interactive TV services in the UK and ASIA since more than 10 years, is not the kind of innovation the customer will follow. It‘s old fashioned! Even if this is a standard in the UK since years, we need to ask the question why this „dinosaur“ was raised to life by the HbbTV consortium again?

Up/Down Left/Right and OK is dead

And another important point: The classic remote control with  up/down left/right and OK navigation is not the tool to control websites, use search engines or write social media messages.
It is to complicated to use, customers won‘t like it and won‘t use it! So, if the new standard should work for the mass market there needs to be some more work done.

The solution is easy. We just need to open our eyes, sit down in front of a school, in the underground or a bus and look at young people, how they use their smartphones. Watching videos, writing messages, playing games, taking pictures and videos or doing the shopping (sometimes they also use it for a phone call). This is common behaviour, this is the screen which has become a part of the kids life. And this is the only way to keep HbbTV alive and make it a future innovation.

Learn from the kids

There must be a second screen, a tablet or the smartphone which controls my HbbTV at home.  This is a smart TV solution! The second screen controls the TV, all writing and searching action will be done on this screen. Further information, advertising and my social media activities will not affect the programme on my TV.
This is a smart solution with a lot of possible showcase and applications.

HbbTV is good, it was about time to get the web in the living room, but it is not smart if we do not connect the second screen with the TV!

What Will Be Smart About TV?

Today and in the future new TV sets will have access to the internet. This could be the start for a new TV experience. The question is how does the fact to have a TV set connected to the internet influence the consumer? Will there be a new TV experience? And how does it look like? Only more programmes and YouTube enters the living room? Will I use my TV like a personal computer? Is this the end of linear TV? What about on demand content? Will VOD be the future?
The answer to all this is no! There will be a change but it will be different from everything what the business creatives do expect. People change their behaviour and common habbits very slowly, that‘s a fact. We are not talking about the small group of early adaptors. This is about the mass-market.
In nowadays the TV set is the middle of the house, the appartment or a single room. It‘s like the fireplace in ancient times. People sit and watch and talk at the fireplace. Talking about classic TV, consumer habits have changed. Face to face communication did decrease because of a demographic aspect that many people are living on their own. In families kids have their own TV, PC or Laptop.
Watching TV can be a lonely thing. Communication starts may be the next day. Did you see this? How did you like it?  So, watching classic TV was a road with no return. No chance to restart my favorite programme if I‘m late at home. VHS and HDD Recorder did help, but I had to keep in mind that I want to record my favorite show and programme the my HDR. No chance if I‘ve been not at home. A remote for my HDR which I can use wherever I am was not available.
Today the opportunities we have with the internet and especially with our mobile web devices is about to change this. Twitter and facebook will be used to comment on programmes. And both are fighting for the pole position to be the favorite ominous second screen.
This blog is about TV, the web and mobile and how TV consumption will change. It is also about communication and society. Classic TV and next generation TV. In the text above there are so many keywords worth to discuss.  At the end there is only one question left: What was Steve Jobs thinking when he was talking about a complete new TV experience?

It‘s time for new visions!