Convergence in the Television and Cable industries, with those already in rigorous competition is now imminent; the cable, tv, internet providers, tablet, pc, phone manufacturers, and software industries are all colliding. Not only does the signal selection and transmission capability for the large cable companies now exist, it's powered by computers. Web TV is now on the horizon, and it's coming to a television near you in the next 24 months. The delivery of consumer infotainment is the basis of the competition, and every delivery medium, in every room of your office or house, can now be utilized. Get ready to see your Television get smarter!!! Get ready to see other devices start acting like your TV, including your Car!
Head Units Get Smart
No longer are the cable companies just broadcasting a single feed down a wire. Years ago, with the advent of Pay-Per-View, On-Demand, and Stored Programs at the cable company level (as opposed to the Home or TiVo level), cable companies started utilizing the addressability of the users set top box (think IP address). These custom addresses are used for "custom" content delivery like Pay Per View, but the consumer wasn't given much control. For instance a movie would be started, but to stop, pause, or rewind was unheard of. Next came on demand services, and now your remote control controlled the head unit at the cable company. CES 2012 shows that the manufacturers are getting wise to both the power, ability, and are nearing presentation of applications we are all familiar with from the internet. Surfing during commercials, tweeting your view on the mystery movie, etc. are around the corner. Cable companies aren't just internet providers anymore, they are about to try to provide all the info on the WWW on your TV. The advent of the IPAD/ANDROID application environments eliminated many of the coding holdups that currently exist. Why isn't there an AP on TV for email? This year marked the purchase of Scientific Atlanta by CISCO, and now we are off to the races...
Users Demand Divergence?
There is an AP for that!
Some users want ease. Some users want power. As of press time in 2012, you'll still had to choose. However, programmers are manufacturers are both streamlining the user "experience" and allowing starting to diverge a bit in the abilities of their systems. Specifically, users will be able to customize their own setup for either ease or access. One set of boxes and screen enable either or both. Want to set up your system to communicate with your phones, computers, cable company, and cloud? It's around the corner. With the advent of the TV control AP for Apple, the future is coming into focus. For the easy and yet more useful crowd, systems on the horizon make you into the remote control! No more searching for the remote, clap, whistle, or move your hands and the TV changes channels. Customization, and the ability to set things up your way, for both ease and access, will be the best part of the new cable "experience".
Your car is about to be a connected portion of the home. Driving into the garage, carport, or even parking lot is about to put your vehicle within range of the new WI-FI systems. With generation 5 WI-FI, and the new entertainment streaming capabilities discussed above, the days of burning files onto your mobile device so you can watch them in the car are numbered. In the future you car will sync with the home cable system just as it does now with your phone. This increased data link, is association with cable content and creative contracts, will make content viewed in the home, just as accessible on the road.