IBC 2012 – AMSTERDAM. Connected TV players are continuing to jostle for position against sometime hidden enemies, which today saw the one-time disrupter TiVo recast as broadcast establishment.
According to TiVo CEO Tom Rogers the status quo was not about to change. “Linear television is going to drive consumption for some time to come; in many cases the operator also has the most robust pipe so they can be in position for giving the customer what they want, when they want it.
Rogers was dismissive of any perceived threat from Google, telling delegates: ‘”Anybody who thinks recreating something on a TV screen that has been rejected by the consumer time and time again is wrong.”‘
Dan Saunders, head of content services at Samsung Europe, explained how the manufacturer had evolved both its content offer and its pitch. ”It’s not about trying to destroy the linear world, but trying to have a seamless journey between the linear and the IP world,” he said. Saunders explained how Samsung was starting to work with telcos, such as TeliaSonera, where its Estonia IPTV customers will soon be able to use their Samsung TV in place of a set-top box.
“The apps are the horizontal solution and the virtual set-top box is the vertical solution,” said Saunders.
Another area that Samsung is developing is the interconnection between devicesw, regardless of the manufacturer. “‘We’re pushing for vertical interoperability in the sense of all of products working together, but it’s important to support consumers across all classes and brands of devices.”‘
Rohan Ooommen, general manager, Xbox Live EMEA, agreed with Saunders’ stance. “There’s a lot of talk about convergence and interactivity, but we know the consumer has the most fractious experience in the living room. They experience everything on different devices with different manufacturers and operating systems.
Away from Mediaro9om, Microsoft Live has become a significant OTT player; the Xbox live service has 40 million users across 35 countries. Many are watching the catch-up TV services of their national broadcasters.
Missing from the panel was anyone from Apple, although Google TV was present, glossing over the early failings of the system. Rogers suggested that a pitch made to US operators to combine Google TV with the MSO’s own offerings had fallen on deaf ears.
The assessment of Redshift Strategy’s Stephen Taylor was that Xbox and Google TV had met with success was that to date the type of content they6 show had not been picked up by the pay-TV operators. ”As they do that other connected devices will be brought into the eco-system or these operators will emerge as competitors,” he said. “You can’t have a pay-TV operator like Sky using a service like Apple because they would just be relegated to another app on the platform.
While linear TV is watched by the viewer, services cannot afford to be purely on demand.