Google TV is Over the Top…

Google TV announced

Google TV has been announced and is being pitched as a collaboration between Google, Sony and Intel. BCi predicted such a move in a recent White Paper. The news confirms that this takes another step towards Google, and similar, playing a broader and more intimate role in the delivery and consumption of rich, interactive on demand content. The Android OS and foray into into their own branded mobile phone has demonstrated their commitment and ability in addressing specific consumer markets.

Google TV promises a SDK and adoption of this technology in the developer community seems assured. What is not clear is whether the solution will allow for a truly ‘open’ approach where the consumer is free to access more or less what they want. All of the Over the Top TV solutions to date have been locked down offerings from the CE vendors where they have replaced the role of the traditional Operator.

Predictably other Search Engines/Super Aggregators (Yahoo, EBay, Amazon, etc) are sure to follow with their own flavours. However Google TV will be a ‘land grab’ of market share and the competition will struggle with the wake of Google. It is possible that Google TV will make some mistakes and the competition will be able to capitalise on them – but not likely.


Canvas, Open standards and Over the top TV

Canvas, Open standards and Over the top TV

Is OTT TV ‘open’?

Recent months have seen several announcements on the availability of ‘Internet ready’ TVs. The offer, on the surface, is quite tempting; no set top box, no hooking up the laptop to the TV – just easy access to over the top TV services. We have all grown accustomed to the hardwired link between the consumer (subscriber) and the Operator. The net effect is that the consumer only gets to see what the Operator makes available. A sceptical view is that the relationship is about locking in the consumer and locking out all other options.

Over the top TV promises so much for the consumer as it has the potential not only to supply so much more content on demand but to break the dependency on a single source of content – the traditional Operator. What we have seen from the early offerings from the CE vendors with an Internet ready TV is another locked down system. Clearly some controls will need to be in place but it seems that these new offers are based on the old model of lock in / lock out. CE vendors have adopted an Operator model. When you buy a PC it doesn’t limit what applications you can install or websites you visit?

Canvas, and perhaps HBBTV, holds the potential to bring forth solutions that are open (but with controls) where content sources and applications can be added relatively simply through an app store, like iTunes. The Canvas partners have the opportunity to raise the bar and bring a truly open and compelling offer to consumers and not a closed/vertical model being offered at this time.

BCi is a Consultancy and Systems Integrator with considerable experience in the deployment of VoD and IPTV platforms. Our extensive lab facilities allows us to provide a staging environment for proof of concepts and/or off site integration for Over the Top TV solutions.