On demand TV

Tom Pullar-Strecker at Stuff reports:

Television is considering creating a new type of set-top box that would do away with at least some scheduled television channels and instead let people watch programmes whenever they chose.

The move could make traditional television listings largely redundant. Chief executive John Fellet said an example of a channel that could benefit from the change would be the Discovery Channel, which features programmes such as Man vs. Wild, starring Bear Grylls.

Instead of broadcasting programmes at a certain time via satellite, viewers would select programmes from a “pool” and they would be streamed to their television over ultrafast broadband.

The set-top boxes would be integrated with social media, so they could recommend programmes based on people’s past tastes or what their friends were watching.

Sky could make programmes available at any time as it had already bought the rights, Fellet said. “Going to a `pool’ concept, which can only really happen with UFB, is an easy decision.”

This is no doubt the future. I like the idea of using social media to recommend programmes.

If Sky were really smart they would look at incorporating video-conferencing software into their set-top boxes, so that people can video-conference by simply pushing a button on their Sky Remote. If they manage that, they’ll have customers for life. Imagine if you can do a six way video-conference through your TV by merely pushing the “V” button and then a short-cut key per individual you want to link in.

Even better, think if you can split the screen between TV and video-conference so you and some friends can remotely watch the same show and discuss it as you view it – as if you were in the same room.

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