After just having read an article at Knowledge@Wharton on the subject, I’m still left wondering really, where is the value of internet video?
Forget about the business models…there first has to be something of value for consumers, which I have yet to see. The most revolutionary thing I have seen thus far related to the space is TiVo, and that’s really just TV show listings over the internet and a hardware/software combo that records shows. With this people don’t need VCRs any more; TiVo (or any digital video recorder) can record all of your shows for you, and even suggest similar shows that you might like. Playback happens using that device without the need for video tapes. This is real value.
Getting back to internet TV, I still don’t get it. Yeah, I’ve seen “The Easter Bunny Hates You”, and yes, it is funny and entertaining. In all likelihood though, I would have gotten an email from one of my friends about it without the need for YouTube or Guba. These sites are great if you want to waste time flipping through user uploaded video clips in search of something entertaining. But in reality, I’ve got better things to do.
Guba is a little different though in that it allows you to purchase licensed videos of movies that were released to theaters and DVD. This still doesn’t cut it for me. I don’t want to watch full feature length films, or even 30 minute television shows on my computer. Sure, I could be tech slick and figure out how to hook up a computer to my TV, but again, I’ve got better things to do. Even if I did hook it up, my bet is that those videos that you can purchase do not show in high definition. The move from regular TV to high definition – that is real value.
Personally, I’m anxious for the time when I can use my DVR to peruse a mega library of archived television shows dating back 50 years, and every last one is available in high definition with surround sound for download/streaming. That’s real value.
Finally, I can’t wait for the day that all I need is a single network connection that costs me ~$20/month that I can use simultaneously for my VoIP phone, live or archived high definition television, and internet access.
What do you think about internet TV and it’s prospects?
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