Connected TV: journey to the centre of the living room

this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) came to an end, the shiny,
light-weight, thin gadgets were packed away and the technology industry took a
step back to evaluate which ground-breaking development will really make a
difference to consumer’s everyday lives.

While the in-car technology, digital health devices, ultrabooks
and smartphones will all undoubtedly impact and improve our lives, it was the
connected TVs that created the greatest buzz.

iPlayer coming to the US…on an iPad

Is the iPad the future of media and publishing? Media moguls like Rupert Murdoch and Richard Branson think it is. As a result, they’re making big bets on the iPad.

Another big name apparently has a lot of faith in Apple’s tablet device too: the BBC. According to reports, it is planning to launch a version of iPlayer in the United States, and has chosen to roll it out on the iPad.

Sky Player fails the usability test

In a comparison of the user experience offered by VOD Player websites, Sky Player came bottom, 33% behind the top rated site, the BBC iPlayer. 

The iPlayer, with a score of 88% was well ahead of the nearest rival, and seems to provide the benchmark for such services. Since customers need to pay to subscribe to the Sky Player, the low score should be of concern to Sky. 

BBC wants to take iPlayer global, producers balk

According to BBC Director-General Mark Thompson, “British ideas are no longer strangers in LA and the world’s other media capitals.” But those outside of the UK — including British citizens — can’t officially get their fix of British content through the BBC’s iPlayer.

That’s something Thompson hopes will be fixed, and fixed soon. In a speech at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, Thompson told attendeesWithin a year we aim to launch an international commercial version of
the iPlayer. Subject to Trust approval, we also want to find a way of
letting UK licence payers and servicemen and servicewomen use a version
of the UK BBC iPlayer wherever they are in the world.

BBC launches new iPlayer in beta

The next version of the BBC iPlayer has been launched in beta today, with changes to the user experience, more personalisation, and integration with social networks. 

The iPlayer is as popular as ever, enjoying its best month to date in April 2010, with 123m requests for TV and radio programmes. I’ve been taking a look at some of the new features. 

beta iPlayer homepage

Review: MSN Video Player

Microsoft launched its own rival to the iPlayer last week, the MSN video player, which features thousands of hours of free programming.

It isn’t a rival to the BBC as far as catch-up TV is concerned, but it does have archive content, something the iPlayer doesn’t offer, as well as more recent content. 

I’ve been trying the MSN Video Player out… 

Consumers want online content on their TVs – survey

The majority of consumers want to be able to watch online content through their TVs. While 17% already can do this, a further 58% say they would like to be able to do this.

The Digital Entertainment Survey,  from Entertainment Media Research and Wiggin, reveals a demand for on-demand programming delivered online, though not many people want to actually pay for it. People would consider paying for movies, adult content, and music and sporting events, but little else.

Google may take BBC’s iPlayer global

Google’s bread and butter may be search and the recession may have led Google to cut back on projects that weren’t bringing home the bacon but that doesn’t mean that Google isn’t looking to expand its already large footprint on the web.

It just announced that by the end of the year, it hopes to be offering its publishing partners the ability to sell ebooks through Google Book Search, putting it in competition with Amazon in the burgeoning ebook market.