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I’m in the market to buy a really big screen, connected with web apps so I searched on Amazon, the discount sites and made a trip to Best Buy.
The promise is there but the mess of misinformation, lack of clarity, fear of buying proprietary hardware and overall feeling that this is still a geek’s dream, unfortunately seems still true.
I jotted down my Commandments as a guideline to help make this convergence a mass-market love fest with the least amount of pain. This is my wish list.
Six Commandments for a better connected TV world
1. Make it easy
It’s just not easy to display what you see on your laptop on your big screen TV. Even with GoogleTV, that need is not going away as to get real access, cabling to your laptop or desktop will still be necessary.
TV manufacturers are still somewhat clueless and shopping for a solution today is as confusing as home theater has been for a decade.
2. Make it multi-screen
Laptop. iPad. Smartphone. Big screen. All need to work together and share content streams from the big content cloud in the sky.
We need to be able to seamlessly move from TV to laptop to iPad to phone to watch a synced, stored, time-shifted program.
We need to be able to do different things on different screens around the same content.
3. Content is king; networks are history
The web is the metaphor for connected TV, not the other way around.
I want to watch True Blood and Entourage, not be forced to buy HBO. Being muscled to purchase network packages is TV legacy; being able to acquire content I want is the promise of the web.
I think that most of us will pay for value as long as we are in control. This is the iTunes learning. I will buy individual songs even if they add up to more than the original album…and be happy because it is my choice.
4. Search is a given
Searching for video content needs to be as simple as searching for info on the web.
We are almost ten years into the world Google powered and it is part of our nature. We demand information overload and search efficiency for video content for everything from TV shows to movies to YouTube to cam clips.
5. Community and social are essential
Friend referrals. Intelligent Facebook info streams. Checking in. Sharing.
The first screen most people use every morning to check on the day is Facebook. And we share our experience on our Facebook walls, Twitter streams, Foursquare friend lists, Disqus comments, Tumblr communities.
This needs to extend to the content we watch. If access to the open web is there, smart startups like Tunerfish are already figuring this out. Facebook will certainly play here even if FacebookTV doesn’t become a reality.
6. Every hardware purchase needs to feel good
We are going to have to buy things:
-We need to feel good about buying hardware…you know, like the iPad. Costs a bit but empowers and enriches life.
-We don’t want to worry about buying the wrong platform. The Betacam/VHS conundrum is just not acceptable as a rerun.
There are certainly other asks but this is my wish list of ‘must haves’.
This is a work in progress…what would you add?