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Internet TV of the Future 
Posted by: Admin on 2011-06-15

At Internet Ready TV, we always dream about the possibilities that a Internet Connected TV can bring to our life. Not in the distant future, the so called dumb box - TV - will become the Smartest entertainment device in your home. The current state of TV will be completely transformed, similar to cell phones turning into smart phones. So here are what we think the future Internet TV will be able to showcase:

1. Unlimited Content:
The selling factor for any Internet TV is content. When we speak of content for TV, it's mainly Videos and other visual media. Though millions of movies, documentaries and TV shows exists, not all are available in current version of the Internet TV. There may be various reasons for it. The availability of such content may be restricted due to copyright and licensing issues, the owner of the content has not made it available, apps / widgets have not be developed for the content, etc.

Let's take the example of Hulu Plus, a service that provides high quality on-demand Movies and TV shows for users of Internet TV, smart phones & other connected devices. This service or the Hulu Plus app is available on Samsung Internet@TV, LG SmartTV, Sony Bravia, Panasonic Viera Connect but is blocked for the users of Google TV. Further, Hulu Plus only holds a small percentage of the countless content that exists.

The complex issues with copyright & licensing, access restrictions, etc are crippling the current content availability. But in future when people flock to the connected TV & devices, the flood gates will be opened, which will mean unlimited - quality - content for the viewers.

2. Simulatenous New Movie Release:
We all like to relax in our couch and spend a little time watching our favorite movies. At present, there are heaps of movies available to rent or buy using your Internet TV. Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, VUDU, etc have some of the best collection of quality movies and TV shows. But, all contents that are available through these streaming services are old movies. Wether it's 2 months or 2 years after its theaterical release, it is old and it's a fact. No one can deny it. And it does not replace the excitement of watching a new movie on the release date.

Which is why the future Internet TV will be able to sync the new movie releases to both your TV and the cinema hall. Let's explain this with an example. Say a new Harry Potter movie is released and the show times for the movie in your local cinema are 3pm, 6pm and 9pm. Now with your (future) Internet TV, you can select the time slot and pay to watch that movie at the same time as the cinema goers. This can be done using an Internet TV app.

Is this possible? Well, it's not so complex as you might think. Here is the answer, to get the movie sync working. There are two issues that an app has to solve - one, the location of your home and second, the closest cinema & the show times for a particular movie.

The second issue of cinema location and show times are readily available and fairly simple to gather. It now comes down to the location of your home and the TV. You should note that every device connected to the internet has an IP (Internet Protocol) address and with an IP address one can pinpoint your location. So there you have it, your TV's location is identified and now the app will do the sync. It assumes that the video play is controlled centrally from the cloud (not literally).

3. Automatic Warranty Registration:
Do you hate to hold on to the warranty certificate and to register online for such warranty? In the future your Internet connected TV will do it for you. Once you connect your TV and run the first time setup, the TV would automatically hook up to the manufacturer's server and validate your TV's warranty. This will be possible by implementing an unique key identifier for each TV set, similar to mobile phone identified by International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI).

4. Switch Camera Angle:
It's been dreamt for many, many years. Yes, the ability to switch your viewing angle inside the video. Confused? Ok, let's say you are watching the super bowl finals, with the present technology, you are stuck with the video relay by the broadcaster. The video may be shown from an ariel angle, sidelines, etc. But with future Internet TV, you'll be able to switch to your favorite angle of view with a built-in app. With this in mind, broadcaster can put extra cameras around and inside the game to energizer the sporting experience. Inside the game? yeah, imagine an umpire or referee wearing a cap with a camera on their head and you are able to see from his view. That will put you right inside the game. And think of a 3D camera there to spice up things a little further.

5. Remoteless Control:
With web contents and browsing becoming part of your TV, the humble infra red remote is headed for a serious transformation. We can already see Sony's Google TV has come up with a bluetooth remote with more than 80 keys (with complete QWERTY keyboard and directional pad). The latest LG Smart TV has gone one step further and introduced remote with motion sensors, similar to wii remotes, which lets the user to point to a menu or item and click on it. The latest blow to the tiny fella is from the Software gaint - Microsoft. In its latest announcement, microsoft says that with it's Xbox 360 and Kinect console the user will be able to access "Xbox Live TV" service. This service will let user control their TV sets with only Voice. But it's not long before kinect's full body gesture controls are built into the Xbox Live TV service. So in future you'll spend less time searching for your remote and more time entertaining yourself.

6. Control Your TV:
When it comes to families, many parents complain about kids watching too much tv and how it affects their health. In the future, you'll be able to completely control your TV - from switching on to shutting it down. As a parent you can lock the TV for a said time slot, when you want your kids to study / play outside. It might be handy for those dinner times! Every member of the family would have their separate logins before they can watch a TV program or to view a content from the web. The administrator or the parent can restrict an user / kid's access to a particular program, channel or web content. Future Internet TV will be able to ration the time spent before the TV set.

7. Capture TV Usage & Keep Our Environment Safe:
Many of us never keep track of the time we spend before the TV, this is because we care less about it or we don't have a system in place to capture that data. Watching more TV also means more energy consumption, more CO2 emission and high energy bills. The next generation of Internet TV will be able to capture accurate statistic of how you use or not use your TV. It'll let you store the usage data, including the time you have your TV on standby mode, on the web. This data can then be used for various purposes. For example, the standby time would mean that you can save energy, money & the planet by switching your TV set off. The data can also help you know your TV viewing pattern, most watched shows / channels, etc. These log data can also help you change your lifestyle by setting a max time to watch TV for given day, week or month.

8. Support:
If you aren't that tech savvy, you might hate setting up your TV and fiddling with the making the internet work on your new Internet TV. In the future, all you had to do is open up the TV box, put the TV on the table and switch it on. The TV would automatically start set up process, find wireless internet connection, and if it runs into trouble communicate with the manufacturer's support team through the internet or phone line to resolve any issues. It'll also log and share any fualts , mechanical or otherwise, with the manufacturer avoding you the trouble of reporting problems at the early stage to keep your warranty intact.

Wait is this possible? Well, it's almost implemented by current Sharp Aquos Internet TV series. It's called "Aquos Advantage Live" and the service will let professional tech support personnel to directly dial into any Sharp Aquos TV sets through the internet and provide assistance for any issues. This service is free and will remotely assist with TV set up, detecting signal strength and inputs, and adjust picture settings instantly. TV owners can also connect to run TV performance analysis.

Future Internet TV will also keep its software up-to-date with over the air software updates. All devices with Google TV already update patches, fixes and updgrades over the air. Many big names such as Samsung, Sharp have also similar software upkeep functionality in their current internet tv offering.

9. Cloud PVR:
We all love to pause, rewind live TV. To do this, you need a built-in or external PVR (personal video recorder) system for your TV. What this device does is that it simultaneously records the TV program to the hard disk, internal or external. This allows for later viewing. The dream here is to seamlessly store your favorite shows and movies on TV channels (not the content from the internet) on to a web server. This let's you watch the stored content from any device that can connect to the internet and stream it. Thus giving you the flexibility to watch your favorite video. One example in this direction (but not related to Internet TV) is the introduction of Cloud Drive and Cloud Player. The service lets Amazon users store upto 25GB of (almost) any digital content and let's them retrieve the stored content through its cloud player on Mobile phones, Tablet PC and on desktop computers. This model will be expanded to the Internet TV in the future.

Tags: future internet tv, internet tv

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