It seems that Internet TV is a very hot topic at the moment and it shows how media convergence is including more and more industries. Of course there are opportunities and at the same time threats for the incumbents. TechCrunch posts Internet TV and The Death of Cable TV, really. The boundaries between Internet and TV are blurring. From watching a video streamed from YouTube or watching a TV program there is not much difference, especially when they are both watched from the same media, the TV.
The different options for Internet set top boxes, at the moment, are:
Companies offering streaming services are booming. Examples are YouTube, Amazon Video on Demand. Hulu (from Wikipedia: Hulu is a joint venture of NBC Universal (General Electric/Vivendi), Fox Entertainment Group (News Corp) and ABC Inc. (The Walt Disney Company), with funding by Providence Equity Partners, which made a US$100 million equity investment and received a 10% stake.). Netflix, founded as a DVD rental company is now a strong player on streaming movies. Than Pandora, Spotify, Slacker are some of the music streaming services.
Basically, the cloud is becoming more and more important, I would say essential in many of the Internet services. People want to access their content whenever and wherever they are, in front of the TV, a mobile phone or PC. Companies offering an integrated and seamless experience have an advantage. For example. From the Google TV, I have access to the pictures on my Picasa account and I can show them on the bigger screen. By performing a search with the Google TV I have results coming from TV programs and the Internet (including my search history of the desktop) and streaming services. When I check an address on Google map, I can mark it with a star. This information is stored in the cloud, so when I use the Google Navigation system with my Android mobile phone in my car, I can use that bookmarked address to reach the destination.
A lot of interesting scenarios and potential. At the same time, to get some of these services we need to reveal information about ourselves. Privacy and the respect of it will be one of the most important issues going forward.
Interesting times ahead, looking forward to seeing how the Internet TV will evolve.