TV production companies and brands should be getting on the horn and speaking to digital agencies now more than ever. Why? Because lean-back viewers are going to be experiencing their content and messaging in a whole new way when the web becomes the conjoined twin to the TV set. And digital agencies need to start thinking about how new media delivery platforms like Project Canvas will start shaking up how users will interact with their TV sets. Opportunities abound.
Some new TV sets come with WiFi and a data port but the scope of its usefulness seems to be relegated to home networking and pre-installed shortcuts to YouYube. Here are 3 reasons to suggest the Internet will be bumping uglies with your TV more than ever.
Project Canvas is the proposed partnership between Arqiva, the BBC, BT, C4, Channel Five, ITV and Talk Talk to build an open internet-connected TV platform. This means video on demand and 3rd party applications piped to your living room. You’ll need to purchase some hardware like combined tuners for terrestrial and Internet tv which or wait long enough and go for a fully integrated Project Canvas TV. Very ambitious and very exciting. No more compressed coccyges watching iPlayer in the computer room.
2. Android TV
Indeed why not whack the Android OS in a tv and unleash the freedom you get with a browser. This innovation will open up all that the Android Market has to offer, plus a Google Chrome-esque browser will let you surf away and check your emails without getting out of the Slanket. Questions: When will developer tools be available? What kind of peripherals will we need to get the most out of typing and gaming? How many ads will I be bombarded with? Will my Android phone integrate?
3. Apple TV (iTV?)
Apple’s upcoming Sept 1st announcement just might include some details of a revamped attempt at Apple tv. Improvements are rumored to be a cheaper price, a smaller hard drive and an inbuilt iOS letting your set connect to the Apple App Store. Get ready for an increase in iPod touches and iPhones turning into controllers for games.
The word on the street is Apple is also taking on Hulu and teaming up with Netflix by offering a digital rental service by partnering with News Corp. TV shows could be rented for 2 days for 99 cents. It will be interesting if this model stretches into UK territory and how much TV, film and news publication content we can get our hands on.
Loads of Questions
Fixed resolutions and screen ratios aside it will be important to quickly know the boundaries when designing for the web tv experience. What is the standard GUI for Canvas? What are their production guidelines for applications? How will remote controls limit interaction and alter the experience we already have with the web and apps? What peripherals can be paired with the TV – mobile phones, keyboards, mice, stereos, smart meters, baby monitors, heart monitors, the bathroom scales? The traditional TV and room in which it exists is the heart of many people’s homes. Now that this key device is becoming a non-linear beacon of information and entertainment what effect will that have on how much people rely on it as a single source device?
More than Video on Demand
Any internet-based content owner or service provider will be able to build applications for Canvas and Android ready sets. Amazon, NHS, National Rail, Met Police, Twitter, Facebook, British Gas how are they going to come across to their clientele through their TV Apps?
Broadcasting honchos like Richard Desmond (right) are likely to push for more investment in emerging technology and new experiences that are set to hit our home screens. Desmond says:
“Project Canvas is set to shape the future of broadcasting and open up new and exciting possibilities for viewers.
“This is important to the future of Channel 5 and having an open internet-connected TV platform fits closely with our plans to bring brilliant new content and interactive services to viewers.
We’re delighted to renew Channel 5′s commitment to supporting Project Canvas following a review of our digital strategy”.
Content creators drop your linen and start your grinin’.
New UX Frontier
The Canvas UX design is still under wraps, or under development, take your pick.
Incorporating an on-demand mentality into familiar linear broadcast territory will be a godsend to some but a ball of confusion for others. The unveiling of that happy medium solution is something we’ll have to wait for.
The TV experience will change. Television shows and movies will be enhanced with web delivered content and apps in the same space. Just like smart phones have changed the perception of what a mobile should be, your smarter connected TV box will change how you look at that thing in the corner of your living room. Giddyup.