2 SMART TVTHE QUEST FORSEAMLESSNESSFOR SIX DECADES NOW, TELEVISION’S EVOLUTION HAS BEEN ANIMATED BY PARADOXICALFORCES: WHEN USING THEIR DEVICES, PEOPLE NEGOCIATE DESIRES FOR MORE CONTENT ALLTHE WHILE EXPECTING SIMILAR LEVELS OF SEAMLESSNESS, THE POWER TO ZAP AND THE PO-WER NOT TO CHOOSE.T elevision’s mass media Based on the radio’s model, the One day the infra-red remote story starts somewhere 1950s television was characterized control arrives on the market and in the early 1950s after by its simplicity: an on/off button the television viewer finds the the tech pioneers had is enough in times and spaces early comfort of simple usabilitysolved the main engineering where there is only one channel. again: he can remain seated whileproblems for good reception. But as the amount of viewers in- flicking through a diversity ofOver the decade TV became a creased, so did the diversity of the channels… at least till channelhousehold object as a plugged expectations in content and con- surfing compulsively through sat-device projecting sequences of sequently the amount of channels ellite TV becomes a reality.programs and advertisements offered. With this surge of possi-into still space. At home, in cof- bilities new buttons appeared on As the century progresses, com-fee houses, the television pro- the set to change channels (more munication, travel, commodities,jected time-based images with practical than the radio’s tuner change and more generally, timepre-determined schedules fol- that needs to be turned to find the accelerates and an endless thirstlowed in communion by thou- correct frequencies). for new content that is neversands of people. Watching tele-One of the first wirelessremote control by Zenithin the 60’svision created events in the nowas well as for the next day(something coined the ‘water-cooler’ effect – where everyoneat the office gathers around thewater-cooler to talk about lastnight show). More and more devices are connected to television sets. Now internet enters the game
SMART TV 3quenched continues to progress. simple usage seems to simply The geekiest among us createAppears cheaper television sets have disappeared. situations to visualise contentthat can adorn every room of your on their television set fromhome. Then the VCR, and rapidly And then one day internet ap- their computer, while for most“source” buttons on remote con- pears continuing – depending youngsters watching televisiontrols ... And DVD readers... And on the angle you want to take – often means lying in bed,cable boxes… And Blue Ray read- the increasing individualistic or watching a computer screeners… And the trillions of possible personalized service TV can while stalking friends on Face-channels from satellites. Before offer. Obviously the internet is a book with a tablet in one handwe know it, the TV viewer is door and platform to access to and texting from a cellphone indrowning in endless options, a sea infinite content. Hypertextual at the other. It’s mutlitasking, but it’s also just a new way of watching television.TV VIEWERS WIN IN CONTENT WHAT THEY LOSE INSIMPLICITY. TO WATCH DIFFERENT CONTENT ONE It feels like chaos and many un- derstand this as the end of TV.MUST LEAVE THE COMFORT OF SITTING IN THE COACH But it’s not, and today’s bustling scene of new Connected TV models is the latest in a historyof abstruse remote controls cov- first, and progressively more of personalisation that startedered with countless esoteric plas- visual and video-based with in 1956 with the invention oftic bumps. In parallel, television sites such as YouTube. The peer the remote control.becomes less social and the to peer explodes, offering easychances of two co-workers having access to huge amounts of ille- What’s next ?the same TV night shrinks. Fur- gal yet high-quality content. Butthermore with the democratisa- legal ones appear on the markettion of home video sets, and later as well with VOD, Netflix, Hulu,the generalisation of photo cam- and sites and apps that replayeras, the everyday person can be a some channels’ old televisedtime-based image producer in his content.or her own right. Going back to aA New Television : New devices, new players, new tools, new behaviours, new frus-trations, new desires... It’s not about the TV set, it’s about a special moment we al-ways called watching TV
4 SMART TVNEW DEVICESFOR A LONG TIME, THE MAIN DEVICE ASSOCIATED WITH THE WORLD OF TELEVISION WAS THETV SET. TODAY TV SETS BECOME CONNECTED AND VIDEO CAN BE WATCHED ON ANY SCREEN.TELEVISON’S LANDSCAPE IS GROWING FAST.I ncreasingly more devices can doesn’t make it an alternative ei- rediscover your own media collec- play video, and bring new ther. To synchronize content on tion but also new favourites by sources of video content into iTunes a PC is required—a reli- pulling recommendations from one’s home. First with mo- able and yet impractical way to your Facebook and Twitterbiles, then with tablets, TV is now manage a TV session. friends. Telecom and cable com-potentially everywhere. So how panies such as Comcast in the US,can such a surge of technology in Gathering personal and streamed Free in France and Videotron inand around TV— shattering de- content, media extenders such as Québec try to offer such servicesvices and content—remain an Boxee Box could solve some con- to their clients with their ownasset for the consumer without sumer usage issues. Boxee Box is a boxes.being a puzzle? good example of a tool, among hundreds of other contenders, New smart TV sets integrateOpen devices remain too com- that brings computer-based and connectivity without additionalplicated, and closed ones not stored content to your TV: mov- devicesconsumer-oriented enough ies and TV programs streamed from the Internet, apps and a web In Europe, several initiatives areWith the Google TV (only avail- browser. It is designed to help you gathering channels and manufac-able in the US) a future whereentertainment is integrated andseamless is in sight. As it is openand powerful, it unleashes your BOXES AND CONNECTED TV SETS HOPE TO SPEEDcontent: taking online video to the ADOPTION. NEW ECONOMY DEVICE MAKERS, TV SETsofa, along with your personalphotos and music, favourite web- MAKERS AND ACCESS PROVIDERS HAVE STARTED THEsites and an open selection of RACE TO BECOME THE MAIN POINT OF ENTRY TOapps. Hopefully, it will bring in anew deal among the traditionally SMART TV CONTENT.closed circuit tools currentlyavailable on the market of con-nected TVs. Additionally, Googleprovides guidelines for developersto convert their websites into 10-foot UI interfaces, clearly a proofthat the web is bound to entertelevision. But because of a nonuser-friendly interface, Google TVrequires geek talent to be used,navigate and enjoy.Apple TV is a responsive device,providing streamed content in aneffective manner, be it from You-tube or your PC. However, theabsence of a browser is a majorissue, preventing users from navi-gating freely to watch any videoavailable on the web. Requiringrentals to watch qualitative videosthe viewer can feel trapped, andthe lack of a proper interface to “HbbTV” is a pan-European initiative meant to deliver IPnavigate within personal data entertainment to TVs.
SMART TV 5turers hoping to attract the massmarket before pure players such PIONEER CUSTOMERSas Google do. Hybrid BroadcastBroadband TV (HbbTV) hopes to MANAGE TO CONNECTaccelerate adoption by harmonis-ing the delivery of entertainment THEIR TVthrough connected TVs. New A LOT OF SOLUTIONS ALREADY ALLOW CUSTOMERS TOservices from entertainment pro- CONNECT THEIR LIVING ROOM TV SET TO THE WEBviders will be available directly onthe TV set: video on demand,catch-up TV, interactive advertis- Devices used to stream video from Netflix or Hulu according toing, personalisation, social net- US Netflix and Hulu Users (% of respondants)working and program-relatedservices such as Electronic Pro- Netflix Hulugramme Guides. YouView, the UKhybrid TV platform, plans to give Directly on computer 42% 89%public service broadcasters (PSBs) Connecting computer to TV 14% 20%high-profile places for both chan-nels & search queries. Wii 25% 3% PS3 13% 3% Roku box 5% 3%THE THIN BORDER Xbox Live 12% 2%BETWEEN THE LIVING Internet-connected Blu-ray player 11% 2%ROOM TV SCREEN AND Internet-enabled TV 6% 2%OTHER DEVICES IS On mobile phone 3% 2% On iPad 3% 1%ABOUT TO VANISH. Google TV 1% 1%WILL THE NEW Apple TV 1% 1%DEVICES IMPACT THE Tivo with Netflix access 2% 0%COUCH POTATOE’S Source: The Nielsen company as cited in company blog, July 27, 2011SACRED TV RITUAL ? reported by eMarketer W hen it comes to plug; and game consoles also have connecting the liv- a significant browsing potential ing room TV set to because by design they are linked the web, adoption is to the TV. In order to get the best hindered by poorly designed dedi- of both worlds—watching on cated solutions. Laptops and their large screens and browsing— easy to use interface, or mobiles some people go over the hassle of with their anywhere anytime connecting their laptops to their specificity are simpler ways to TVs. In any case pioneer consum- watch TV on a screen. It is a ques- ers will divert from connected tion of context: people use the TVs’ technological limitations most convenient device when and because manually connecting a where they’re watching. PC TV remains the best way to reach screens are people’s preferred comfortably what matters most: interface for online video viewing, content. because they have nothing to
6 SMART TVNEW TOOLSA LOT OF COMPANIES ARE LOOKING FOR THE VIDEO GRAAL, TRYING TO FILL THE GAP BET-WEEN THEORICAL SEAMLESSNESS AND REAL SERVICE.A few years ago, a French start-up, Wizzgo, fright- ened the market when it proposed a virtual VCRthat allowed people to virtuallyrecord anything that played onTV to download it afterwards.The company lost in court againstthe French channels, but its largeadoption in just a few weeksshowed they were tapping on anunfulfilled need by the traditionalchannels. Their model challengedthe “normal” usage of a standardTV set (the ability to watch pro-grams on any screen) but alsourged the broadcasters to launchcatch-up solutions as pioneer cus-tomers were hungry for change. Among the tools, open source universal players like Videolan (VLC) or Plex on Macintosh, have had an important role in massively de-ploying solutions to watch seam-lessly any content on computers.Thanks to these types of players,that cancelled the difficult task offinding the right “codec” (videocompression format), linking thecomputer to the TV screen di-rectly or wirelessly has proved tobe an efficient solution to watchmovies on TV sets.On Facebook and Twitter, sharedvideos can easily be spotted andwatched on applications or web-sites like Flipboard or paper.li.A new service, Squrl, offers aninteresting solution to flag videos "Squrl has entirely changed the nature of tv by fillingso as to place them in a queue andwatch them later in the program. in those rare moments when I let myself get carriedWith this type of format it be- away by the flow of images channel surfing collapsedcomes worth connecting your on my sofa. How? Because instead of having tocollected videos to your TV set torelax in your sofa and watch eve- watch programs broadcasted by channels I’m abso-rything you didnt have time to lutely uninterested in, I can be suggested more inter-appreciate during your work day. esting and entertaining content." NICOLAS GUT, BLOGGER
SMART TV 7This relatively new approach to access boxes, like Freebox inviewing content is putting the old France, which is a blueray player,models (channels and telecom a hard disk, a VCR and offers ancompanies) for legal, copyright, "inside your home" streamingprocess and bandwidth reasons at solution for all available channels.risk. Older models are rooted inIF ONE SUMS UP WHAT NETFLIX, HULU, YOUTUBEOR SQURL PROPOSE, IT BECOMES OBVIOUS THATNEW TELEVISION IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE CLOUD.STEP BY STEP, NEW TOOLS MAKE TV WATCHING existing or coming device. QuiteFROM ANY SOURCE A SIMPLER EXPERIENCE. HOW probably HTML5 is going to be- come the universal solution forCOULD A TOOL WHICH GATHER ALL INNOVATION IN providing cloud-based videoONE PLACE BE UNDERSTANDABLE ENOUGH TO STAY content. This will take time, the main issues regarding quality andSEAMLESS ? bandwidth still need to be solved to offer an optimal TV watchingTV programs with qualitative Some companies like VidZapper experience. But the work is inflows of images under clear copy- or Sezmi propose solutions to a progress...right deals. Today they try to pro- broadcaster’s new key issue : pro-vide a more integrated qualitative vide correct quality streams overtelevision experience with their IP, live and on-demand to anyThe Freebox interface experience is the same on most devices (here on the iPad)
8 SMART TVNEW PROVIDERSPEER TO PEER TECHNOLOGY ENABLED THE DOWNLOAD OF CONTENT THAT, FROM A CUSTO-MER’S POINT OF VIEW, HAD BEEN ABSURDLY UNAVAILABLE IN THE PAST. THIS NEW USAGEPUSHED LEGAL NEW PLAYERS TO ENTER THE GAME.T he rise of new digital Traditional players test new offers nected from the consumer’s per- players created a strong ceived value ($60 a movie). disruption in the tradi- VOD or catch up TV: new con- tional TV offer and this sumer habits helped traditional Consumer-focused OTT offerscame at a cost for more than one content providers and broadcast-company. Either death or evolution. ers develop improved tools and Free offers derived from P2P hab- offers. In France in 2010, 2,3 mil- its were developed first, and leadPure players’ new deal lion people had already watched a the way for new business models. program using an on-demand Based on comScore’s latest mediaBlockbuster, once the leader in platform and over the whole year, analysis (July 2011) July was a re-video rentals, had filed for bank- an average of 18 programs per cord month for online video con-ruptcy and closed its stores in person was watched. Like many sumption with an estimated aver-Canada when it couldnt counter channels worldwide, today age of 18.5 hours of online videothe revolution of home entertain- France’s first private channel of- viewing (US). With over 3 billionment posed by Netflix Inc. Since, fers a multi-device programming viewing sessions and almost 160Blockbuster launched the Block- service which includes free catch- million unique viewers, Googlebuster Movie Pass, a monthly $10 up TV that gives access to more sites (YouTube in the forefront)entertainment package to get than 80 hours, 7 days after live are leading. Hulu—an ad-streamed videos. Traditional ac- broadcast, bonus videos and fee- supported on-demand streamingtors of the TV world have had to based video on demand. In the services of TV shows, movies,reconsider their offer and make USA, Comcast proposes to watch webisodes and other new media—the effort to focus again on the movies still in theatres from came in 9th place in terms ofconsumers’ ways of accessing home. The only fail in this at- viewers, but was 2nd in terms ofcontent. tempt is a pricing policy discon- minutes per viewer, demonstrat-
SMART TV 9ing that people are ready to watchads to get their videos for free. port from The Diffusion Group. Netflix tries to be available on WEB USERIn the fight to provide customers every possible device or platform, recently including Facebook, GENERATEDwith interesting content andsmart, convenient ways of getting which, till then, was concentrat- ing its video strategy on its mem- TV PRO-it, initiatives are endless. Amongthem, Google is currently said to bers’ content. GRAMS PEOPLE STARTED USING THE WEB TO GET THEIR FAVORITEMOST NEW COMERS TO THE CONTENT DELIVERING CONTENT… IN TURN, THEGAME ARE PROPOSING THEIR OFFER ON ALL AVAILA- WEB IS NOW INFLUENCINGBLE DEVICES. THE SEARCH FOR TECHNICAL UNIVER- WHAT’S IN THE TV.SALITY, EASED BY THE CLOUD, IS THE NEW PARA-DIGM.have invested more than $100million to put together a numberof free online YouTube channelsfeaturing original and unique pro-gramming. Other players, such asNetflix, have developed pay offersthat reached 22.8 million sub-scribers (Q1 2011 US market), up63% from the year before, turningthe service into the #1 member-ship-based entertainment com-pany. The tendency of Netflixusers to downgrade their pay-TVservice has doubled in the past 12months, according to a new re- Twitter used to be a sounding board for what happening on in TV and what people enjoyed watching. When displaying hashtags or tweets on screen, the microblogging platform would go wild with reactions. But the inter- action is true the other way around as well : Twit TV is a TV program entirely based on Cur- rent Trending Topics on Twitter. The idea is to watch videos that are buzzing on the internet and the quick change of Trending top- ics allows the “channel” to have a constantly renewed loop of vid-In this presentation to investors, Netflix insists on ubiquity eos.
12 SMART TVNEW HABITSTELEVISION IS CONTINUING ITS PROGRESSIVE INFILTRATION IN EVERYDAY LIFE WITH MOREDEVICES ON WHICH TO WATCH CONTENT, MORE CONTENT TO WATCH AND PEOPLE WATCHINGMORE OF IT. BUT THIS OVERALL QUANTITATIVE INCREASE OF TELEVISION VIEWING IS MARKEDBY EVOLUTIONS IN HABITS AROUND ITS CONSUMPTION TOO.F or this sprint’s research we like in the more traditional way of … but always with a sense of ac- asked a number of Nu- watching TV—sitting down facing tive control: “oh ya, that’s right, I runers to conduct mini- a screen—the television is a major was emailing while watch- interviews with people on leisure-time activity meant to pro- ing Dexter”their television habits (in ethno- vide an imaginative space to leavegraphic work, interviewed indi- everyday routines behind. As one If passiveness is a key componentviduals are called “informants”) of our Montreal informants said to a successful TV session, pas-We compiled these Chinese, “watching television takes me siveness can not feel like a lack ofEuropean and North American away from my little life; it makes control or as missing out. Todaytestimonials and drew short eth- me un-bored.” While the content these feelings are countered bynographic conclusions. can change, visualising television new technologies that enable its must be experienced in a passive users to feel like they are exercis-Passive hearing, passive view- state, one that helps decompress. ing more control and access moreing… Television content and the televi- rapidly any type of content. sion experience should enableThere are many ways to experi- people to explore different reali- Yesterday’s average couch potato,ence TV. For example both in ties without too much effort. hence, has become more active inFrance and in China, female infor- the sense that his or her TV view-mants talked about their habit ofusing their TV like a radio: abackground sound when friendsare over for an “aperitif” (drink) orwhen they are busy cleaning uptheir home. But in these cases,
SMART TV 13 ally at imposed times, during which people adopted a limited number of stories (there were few channels) and, combined, this created an obvious collective sense of self. (Some even argueing from a couch is accompanied This disintegration of spatial con- that the increasing presence ofby a flow of chosen content: using straints implies more and more television and the decrease of re-portable tablets, checking cell- often the individualisation of TV ligion within society is no coinci-phones while watching television watching. The smaller the screen dence at all). And still today manyis common. Texting while watch- and more spontaneous the view- love the idea of a calendar: a Pari-ing a movie, or stalking friends ing, the less people will be in- sian informant mentioned “I likewhile watching Lost is rarely volved in it. People determine to know that every Tuesday onqualified as multitasking by infor- their own viewing terms and con- channel 6 there will be Desperatemants; it’s just watching televi- ditions: they record and upload Housewives.” This feeling is ech-sion. their shows to watch them any- oed on Twitter (see above) and a time and at their own rhythm large number of our informantsAccording to a recent Nielsen (skipping ads and “boring parts”). talk about the morning show assurvey, watching TV is the most part of their daily morning ritual–common activity while interacting Nonetheless this individualism on their iPad while puttingwith other devices: 70% of tablet does not mean that people have makeup on or while preparingusers and 68% of smartphone stopped sharing their TV experi- breakfast.owners use their devices while ences, quite the contrary.watching television.Entertaining myself anywhereright now and just like I want itThe explosion of portable screenshas meant that television contentis not constrained to a television Humans are social beings andset plugged in a physical space. Television viewing’s success is hence, rituals are important inToday people catch-up on the rooted in its ritualistic qualities television’s success, they give peo-shows they have missed while ple things to talk about. It’s thecommuting on tablets, watch the A ritual is defined as a set of water-cooler effect: talking aboutlatest DiCaprio during their lunch coded actions that form a strategy Rachel and Ross around the wa-break at their work desktop and of control over a community as ter-cooler with office colleaguesexpect their smartphones to de- well as a mean for this community after the episode in which theyliver high quality live streaming of to appropriate the correct shared broke up for the 6th time.soccer games at weddings. Ac- set of values. With television thecording to a recent study in the ritual is both the act of viewing If these rituals still exist, they areUK, among iPad owners 87% and the content being watched. evolving. Today technology allowswatch YouTube, 74% watch catch- people you know (or yourself) toup TV, 52% watch iTunes videos In the past television relied on curate your schedule, rather thanand 38% watch live TV on their very clear reassuring ritualistic a random producer: the ritual isdevice. behaviours: it brought people to- now rooted in the freedom of de- gether physically as well as virtu- ciding when, where, what and who you will connect to through the TV ritual. For example a fe- male Montrealer in her 50s toldTODAY WATCHING TELEVISION IS BEING PART OF A us: “Well, we [her and her hus- band] were always missing TheRITUAL THAT YOU CAN IGNORE, APPROPRIATE OR CU- Tudors so we decided to watch itRATE. EVEN IF THIS MEANS IT IS DIFFERENT FROM THE together every Sunday afternoon on Tou.tv (a free VOD channel).”RITUAL IT USED TO BE, TELEVISION REMAINS A PAS-SIVE DECOMPRESSING TIME, OR ELSE IT IS NO LONGER Today’s ritual enables the viewer to be an active participant in itsCONSIDERED TELEVISION. making.
16 SMART TVNEW DESIRES, NEWFRUSTRATIONSTODAY’S TV IS FILLED WITH PARADOXES, AND ITS INCREASING POSSIBLE FORMS AND CON-TEXTS HAS MEANT THAT OUR INFORMANTS’ DESIRES AND FRUSTRATIONS TOWARDS IT ARETAKING MORE AND MORE SHAPES AS WELL.P robably the greatest of all para- our informants expressed an eagerness ducing himself was: “and I don’t watch doxes is: that the more chan- for shows on Westerners’ adaptation in television.” But turns out that, although nels there are, the less choice China and vice versa and American he doesn’t consider any of the follow- there is. Choice plays a funda- advertisements. ing activities as television watching,mental role and is an essential value to everyday he views concentratedour social structure. In a sense techno-logical evolutions are based on people’sbelief that the more options they havethe better the result. Hence, since itscreation, TV has constantly evolved byresponding to this one fundamentalbelief turned desire: TV viewers wantthe most content to possibly choosefrom. Today there are millions of chan- When discussing television with our amounts of news produced by a TVnels to be potentially seen a minute; Chinese interviewees there’s a pro- channel on his computer “to knowand yet, our informants will complain nounced sense of ease, in particular what’s going on” (“but it’s just like read-about how poor television content is, relative to our North American and ing the news in a newspaper”) andhow frustrating it is to not find any- French informants. The following jux- downloads television series (Skins, andthing “good” to watch, etc… Basically taposition of quotes is eloquent on the other teen shows) that he watchestelevision and its emphasis on choice matter: while a Shanghai man said that often. He differentiates TV set and TVhas meant that while the possibility of “satellite television has many interest- content watching because “unlikeexercising control over millions of ing programs, because Chinese na- when watching television on a set,visuals is attractive, if not a fundamen- tional television is so boring and use- which is made to forget yourself,tal aspect of experiencing television, it less,” a female Canadian expressed at watching television content via otherisn’t satisfying or practical, it’s frustrat- length her fear of becoming enslaved devices, like computers, keep you ac-ing and can ruin a perfectly good televi- by TV if her family got cable. tive.”sion evening.“La television c’est du junk food” (TVis junk food) versus “我爱新技术” (Ilove new technology)All of our informants in one way oranother consume television content,whether it is 6 hours a day via a televi-sion set without cable or on a laptop inbed with illegally downloaded shows.Certainly because of their restrictednational television, our Chinese infor-mants are more driven to downloadingillegal international content, buying Relative to the Chinese, European and A need for control: “I hate advertise-satellite TV with programs like MTV North American informants tend to ments of course,” versus “I hate adsor Discovery, and streaming channels describe their TV habits and tools in with some exceptions”from Taiwan or the States. In China terms of a love/hate relationship. Fortelevision is perceived as a window on example the first thing one of our male One thing all of our informants inter-rest of the world’s values and trends: Montreal informants said after intro- nationally agree on however, is how
SMART TV 17 things didn’t feel natural, and most of all they hated the wait. It wasn’t the smart TVs’ concept they hated, rather it was the effort it required to function and its slowness... … “I hate buffering”much they hate ads. By nature adver- with or beings they have chosen andtising is a platform companies use to respect. Before one could only rely on a People do not want technology to re-influence viewers that, as we have seen, TV network’s choice of programs, quire patience. From technology theyvalue choice and like to think of them- whereas today it is possible to rely on a expect speed and ease. Any wait isselves as decision makers and inde- personal network’s opinions. This terribly frustrating and our informants’pendent thinkers. Ads, more than sim- doesn’t mean that the traditional biggest fear is the potential for stream-ply small moments of promotional model is completely outdated, it just ing to be slow. In a similar vein, people do not want technology to require tolerance and the quality of an image that is too low can ruin a perfectly good“I HATE PEOPLE TALKING OVER MOVIES” viewing. Basically humans expect high“I LIKE HIGH QUALITY SCREENS FOR MOVIES” quality, rapid and personalized content through efficient and easy platforms.“I LOVE WATCHING ‘THAT 70S SHOW’ WITH LUNCH AT WORK”“I HATE THE LIGHT THAT EMANATES FROM MY SCREEN, There are as many ways of watching video content as there are humans.IT WAKES UP MY GIRLFRIEND” Technology does everything to quench“I LIKE THE NEWS WHILE COMMUTING” these diverse desires, sometimes even“SOMETIMES I HATE WATCHING MOVIES WITH MY ROOMMATES” encourages them, however there is one clear repetitive trend: the smaller the screen the smaller the crowd, and thevideos, are rooted in notions of power, means that people are also striving for larger the screen the more communalautonomy and freedom. Today the reciprocal relations when looking for the viewing. This means that soccerexplosion of choice within all of our suggestions and guidance. games, except for rare occasions (onemedia sources has meant that users of our French male informants men-expect to exercise control and play abigger role in what they see (manyviewers use other devices like smartphones, or switch to a new web win-dow to avoid watching ads). Whilethese same users know ads are a neces-sary part of the entertainment gamethey also do not feel like they can beinfluenced by them: they would rather Material matters: “I hate cables,” “Ian ad that considers reciprocity in its hate loosing the remote control” tioned a soccer game viewing during aapproach than influencing. For exam- wedding that gathered large crowdsple a Chinese informant mentioned People hate when things demand an around his iPhone), ideally will bewatching foreign ads as an aspect he intense amount of skill or effort to watched on large high definitionparticularly enjoys when watching work (perhaps because it reflects their screens (3D TV was created for the lasttelevision. Why does he love them? lack of control and prevents them from World Cup); while for Youtube videosBecause in exchange of his viewing he accessing choice); and yet today the small gatherings in front smallerlearns about what is being done in remote control has too many buttons, screens like tablets or smart phones areTaiwan which is something he values: the cables take too much room and more likely. This generally means thatthere’s a reciprocity. interesting television requires too large screens with cable or satellite are many plug-ins. During an experiment found in communal spaces such asThis need for reciprocity is also present done by the ad agency, Hill Holliday living rooms near kitchens, while lap-in people’s relation to non-advertising (mashable.com/2011/01/31/ tops or tablets are dispersingly used bybased content. TV viewers want con- connected-device-experiment/), four smaller in more intimate ways (oftentent from reliable sources, sources that families exchanged their satellite TV solo) around the house—bed room,know them and with whom they have for smart televisions. The result was bathroom. From the former peoplean established relationship with: either that all households wanted their satel- enjoy the communal sharing aspectfriends they have a reciprocal relation lite back: there was too many cables, and from the latter the control.
18 SMART TVA PROTOTYPE FORTHE NEAR FUTUREWE WANTED A PROTOTYPE THAT WOULD HELP BRING EASINESS TO THE TV EXPERIENCE, FO-RESHADOWING WHAT COULD BE IN THE PIPELINE OF THE IPTV ACTORS. TO ACHIEVE THIS, WELISTED ALL THE REALITIES THAT BREAK THE SEAMLESS EXPERIENCE, AS PEOPLE EXPRESSTHEM. WE IMAGINED SOLUTIONS FOR EACH OF THEM. BACK TO THE COUCH!For a real life demonstration of this prototype, contact email@example.com WHAT IS THE MAINC onnected TV needs to be Just switch on the TV … as simple as the original TV set to gain everyday Today there is a general consen- DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A usage. Think of the sus that watching the content you TV SET AND A COMPUTER?iPad’s on and off button: custom- want on TV— be it live, streameders love devices that work in- or stored—requires a certain level YOU TURN IT ON, AND ITstantly. of expertise and patience: first to PLAYS
SMART TV 19connect the devices and then to type will display the latest videos THE INCREASINGpick and choose the content. The shared by one’s Facebook or Twit-easy instantaneity of just turning ter networks, for them to be AMOUNT OF INDIVIDUALthe TV on and watching broad- watched one by one or all in acasts has been lost and needs to row. VIDEO WATCHING RITU-be found again. After having done ALS DOES NOT MEANsome field research, the Lab con- My content on TVcluded that most humans are per- THAT ITS SOCIAL DIMEN-fectly comfortable with not decid- Time-based media content (home SION HAS DISAPPEARED.ing a thing while viewing TV. In videos, forgotten downloadedour prototype hence, we included movies, etc…) is often lost in“Instant Smart Launch” which some PC-connected storage de- there are many different ways ofenables the viewer to switch his or vice. More by lack of accessibility watching TV: alone, with a friend,her TV and get, based on watch- than by lack of interest, users with a team, with foreigners, as aing history, a stream of content don’t think of it as an option for background sound, with intensestraight away. Importantly, how- their evening television sessions. curiosity, or as a time filler and inever, the feeling of gaining control From this, the Lab came up with your living room, in a pub, oris important so the option of zip- an automated push feature of per- while commuting. Because of theping through endless amounts of sonal editorialized content based variety of content available andcable channels will remain avail- on special dates and events. This viewing sources, the TV watchingable. will give forgotten personal con- ritual evolved from a collective tent a renewed interest and visi- event into an individualistic mo-… and choose your screen bility. ment. Social media resources and other sharing platforms are waysAny screen is now a potential TV. Pick & choose your advertising to bring the collective dimensionTo envision real future usages, the of the TV watching ritual backtechnologies involved in our pro- To avoid advertising slots that (without its painful elements liketotype must make watching any break TV’s flow, people have de- waiting, imposed times…). Theircontent on any screen simple, and veloped strategies to avoid such use is integrated directly in theswitching from one screen to an- disruptions with VOD or Face- prototype to stay fluid.other seamless. The cloud and booking during ads. We believehtml 5 technologies promise to advertisements are bound to be-free TV content and offer more come increasingly more personal-spontaneous and independent ized without being intrusive orviewing experiences. based on personal data. A good strategy at targeting better adsIT IS HARD TO CHOOSE BETWEEN A LOT OF GOODCONTENT, EVEN MORE SO WHEN THE FLOW NEVERSTOPS. BROWSING, ZAPPING AND CHOICE HAVE TOBE OVERSIMPLIFIED TO FIGHT THE FEELING OF MISS-ING SOMETHING.Curation: let people I trust and engaging viewers more than Watch later buttonchoose for me traditional televised publicity is having them choose the business We spend our days receiving con-One of the key success factors of category of their ad. This will give tent we are too busy to watch orsocial media platforms is content them a better feeling of control. In to fully enjoy at the moment of itscuration – seeing and reading our prototype on-demand content reception. In our prototype, awhat people we know, either as sponsored by ads will be preceded “Watch Later” button in the user’sfriends or as experts, use to curate by a selection screen on which the web browser or mail box will gen-their own statuses. Generally this viewer can choose the category of erate a playlist that can bedata is more valuable for us than his or her ad. browsed or played automaticallyanyone else’s content. Curated later.content need to find its way into Social watching 2.0TV and create a long tail of the-matic mini-channels. Our proto- Thanks to new technologies today
20 SMART TVPhoto credits. P2: Jim Rees, Zach Petersen, P3: Jerine Lay, P5: oddharmonic, P8:jswaffordphoto, P12: Florian—A document produced by the Nurun Lab