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Connected TV and 3D: Booming Industry Provides Plethora of Opportunities - Broadcasting & Cable

Connected TV and 3D: Booming Industry Provides Plethora of Opportunities

Devices should work with, not against cable/satellite providers
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New
York
- The marketplace for televisions and mobile devices with internet
capabilities - or "connected" devices - is booming; by 2015 the amount
of consumers with a connected device will triple.

With
that comes numerous opportunities for ways of receiving content,
changing the viewing landscape, according to the "Devices, Delivery and
the Down-and-Dirty Truth" panel at B&C/MCN/TWICE/TV Technology's Connected TV and 3D: Supplying the Demand event on Tuesday at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York.

"Ultimately
the viewer is the really big winner," said Hans Deutmeyer, VP of HBOGo.
Deutmeyer argues that cable and satellite providers should not view
services like HBOGo, which allows subscribers to view HBO content on
their mobile devices such as iPads, as the enemy. Instead, Deutmeyer
says that the HBOGo service will help providers, because it adds value
to the HBO subscription. "It really is a great retention tool for us,"
he said.

Tara
Maitra, SVP/GM, content and media sales, TiVo - 

which premiered Hulu Plus on Tivo Premiere DVRs this week - says that content players are also huge winners, since their
content is becoming easier to find. However, she states that some
providers, who like to act as "gatekeepers" to their content are finding
it difficult to keep those walls up. "Internet connected TVs break down
those [walls]," said Maitra.

Richard
Bullwinkle, chief evangelist for Rovi Corp., which produces much of the
technology that connected devices - namely Samsung - use, says the key
is to get the cable and satellite providers to understand how the
service works. "We are now in a world where consumers set the use
cases," said Bullwinkle. "It's no longer us sitting in a lab and saying 'what can we create that consumers might want?'" He comments that
service providers need to understand that connected devices and
services, like HBOGo, are not there to replace them but to enhance the
viewer's experience.

Marc
Sokol, EVP, marketing and business development, NeuLion, on the other
hand, sees a shift in how certain things, such as live events, will be
viewed by the audience. NeuLion is the exclusive streaming provider for
the NHL, and provides streams for the NFL, NBA and UFC as well. Sokol
argues that in the realm of live sports, the streaming experience far
exceeds what broadcast television provides. "They [viewers] want
multiple cameras, they want the ability to have these multiple audio
feeds, they want the ability to vote and judge the fight by themselves
and interact with Twitter," said Sokol. "All of this is only available
when you have an internet-connected television set." Sokol believes that
connected television will become the de facto method of viewing live
sporting events.

Bullwinkle
countered that while connected mobile devices such as iPads and tablets
are well-received by the public, interactive television is not, because
mobile devices are a more personal experience while the tube is still
considered a more communal one. Bullwinkle states that the interfaces on
televisions are usually more confusing compared to the more simplistic
ones on mobile devices. Maitra commented that TiVo's iPad app is meant
to aid television watching, and makes viewing a "two-screen experience."

Deutmeyer
said that his company's HBOGo service gives viewers many options that
previously were not available. "There are just a lot of different ways
that people want to consume content," said Deutmeyer. "Where they watch
HBO is really kind of up to them."

The
panel all agreed on one thing: Today's viewers have many more options
for how they want to receive their content, and the connected devices
industry is finding new and better ways to provide that.

"I don't care what channel my show is [on], I just care about the show," said Bullwinkle.

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