TV on the Net

by David Eckoff · 0 comments

What is the future of Internet TV?

The Patriot-News published an article yesterday based on a speech by Phil Swann, entitled “Video Without Borders.”

Swann is publisher of, and his premise is that in the next few years, television will experience a revolution with the emergence of Internet TV. Swann predicts that viewers will be able to download thousands of shows and movies from the Internet directly to their TVs.

Swann also revealed his secret formula for making predictions about the television industry, a three-part test for how to evaluate new technology:

  • Is it easy to use and understand for the consumer?
  • Does it add convenience to someone’s life?
  • Does it add entertainment?

    With that in mind, Swann had some harsh criticism for Apple Computer Inc.’s video iPod.

    The original, audio-only iPod passes all three tests, he says. But the video iPod, with its 2.5-inch screen, “is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen. It’s a classic case of technology flaunting,” Swann told The Patriot News.

    “Cell-phone TV is even dumber than the video iPod,” Swann said.

    Whoa, hold on there Swanni. There are more than a few people who would have to disagree on that last observation. Namely the more than 500,000 paying subscribers to MobiTV, which provides the mobile TV service for Sprint and Cingular.

    I expect we’re going to find that many people who like TV… will like mobile TV. But there’s more that needs to be done before mobile services deliver a user experience that passes Swann’s three rules.

    Related Links:

  • The Washington Post hosted a live chat with Swann, covering the topic of HDTV, and it makes for a good read.
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