The Channel Guide is Dead. Move on Already.

If I have to scroll through another channel guide, or search using an archaic user interface one more time.!.  I will just use my web streaming service instead.  At least the web, video streaming apps have started to innovate how the consumers click through to get their content. TV channel bundled providers (Cable Cos., AT&T, Verizon, etc.)  typically display ‘what’s on?’ in the form of the classic channel guide, or variations of it.   The TVCBP , or TV Channel Bundled providers,  also allow us to get through to content by drilling down into our desired genre.  Finally, the TVCBP allow the watcher to search ‘painfully’ using the TV remote keyboard.

The set top box evolution, such as a UI revamp, are at times, slow like a huge glacier moving along in the Arctic.

Changes, here they come

First, the new ‘Media Guide’, is a display page of tiles, similar to a stock heat map, and Windows 8.  In the first level of abstraction, the heat map MAYBE group by Genres.

The genre, or category grouping, has the channel / network icons grouped around the category.   Hovering your mouse over the network icon will popup a live stream from the channel.  Drilling down by clicking the channel/network icon,  a tiled view of the current and the next 24h is displayed. The current show has a pop up for the current streamed show, selecting it then plays in the entire screen.    If you hover over any future shows, one of two things occur. If there is a 30 sec promo for the show, a pop up shows the promo. If no promo, the show beauty shot still for the show is displayed. If the user selects the show, current or future, a menu overlays the still or show in progress with e.g. record show, DVR.

The UI would also allow the user to create their own tiled pages using their favorite channels, and again,  hovering over the image would allow play out in a popup of the current stream.  The tiles can be sorted by your popularity rating, general popularity rating, ascending or descending title names, and most watched videos.

If our TV bundled channel providers want to keep and lure new subscribers, then they need to innovate the STB software and think about how you evolve the viewer experience.

Video Streaming Services Roadmap for Content Suppliers, and Enhanced Portals

Netflix and Amazon Prime Movies use a scrolling carousel for their users to browse through their movies.  For Television series, web streaming services use a generic, series specific, image to articulate the whole series.  Movies simply show the cover of the movie box.

An augmented paradigm can help their viewers to select videos.  For Television, if the viewer selects a TV series, instead of next showing a text list of all the seasons and episodes, each of the TV episodes for a season could be tiled across the screen.  The user first selects a season, and all the episodes for the season would be displayed in tile format.  If the user hovers over the episode image, the episode information could be displayed in a popup text box.   A “best scene in show” video clip can be played by the viewer.  “Best in Show” clips would be selected by the web services, genre experts.

Going Beyond the Movie Trailer

If a user hovers over a movie box image, four small buttons popup over the image in the foreground and are accentuated.  The movie image gets dim in the background.  This viewing paradigm is similar to the cnet.com web site that uses the same mechanism viewing their stories, and for socializing their stories through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and email.  Selecting one of three of the buttons will play a ‘genre expert’ or a ‘viewers choice, favorite scene’, the fourth button goes to the details page of the movie, as it does today.  Using this media format introduces additional ‘value add’ by the content providers, and makes the service go beyond the streaming of video.  The value proposition is simple, customers get entertaining insights into a movie they MAY select to watch, and the web streaming service is perceived to be more than just streaming, the service are, genre knowledge experts.

The movie expertise provided and integrated into an Web, Video Streaming Service may grow into favorite movie quotes,  and actor Filmography displayed in the details section of the movie.  Furthermore, streaming services may partner with established movie expertise web sites.  Amazon’s Instant Video is already ‘primed’ to integrate media expertise from their IMdb,  an Amazon property.  Video Streaming services offered today are very little beyond, find your movie that catches your eye, or search for your preconceived movie, and take a chance to watch it.    Very little value add, if any, is provided to the video watcher.  Any company dipping their toe into this space has significant opportunity to distinguish themselves from other service from existing services.   Specifically, the content owners that go to the web streaming service model.  They are the best positioned to provide significant value add to their line up.  Throwing a large video archive at consumers shows the tremendous depth of available videos, but may be daunting for the video streaming subscriber.  However, if the streaming service are providers of expertise around their owned content, such as TV series out takes, cast interviews, scrapped clips, and any pilots that the providers never aired are just a few ideas.

Welcome to the beginning of the web video streaming services that mature as more content owners push the envelope with their power to create content, and maximize the usability of their assets.

Key to Success for Content Providers Offering Stand-Alone Web Subscription Services

CBS to Offer Stand-Alone Web Subscription Service – NYTimes.com.

The distribution channel must provide unique content through their channel or they run the risk of being a commodity rights owner that is only providing archived content.

Amazon brought it home for me when they hosted a single pilot produced by a partner production group. If the test markets had strong viewer ratings, more episodes can be ordered.

This will turn the dial from just an archive distribution rights platform ‘business model’, eventually a commodity, to a creative media value added service. This shifts the focus to creative content along the brand focus.

  • CBS produces or sponsors a pilot episode. CBS then advertises, short on air promos, web ads for the target demographic methods, etc. CBS gauges the popularity of the show. If market demand is strong, the provider can order more episodes.
  • Content providers can also provide unique content from their existing proprietary, content. ‘Web subscription only’ series episodes, available through their web subscription service.

IMG_0687.JPG

Netflix, Pushing Regional Content: Shooting at Texas

An option that Netflix is considering is to leverage their Content Delivery Network (CDN) regional servers to position regional specific programming desired by that region to their target audiences.

As an example, packaging regional content that may be desired may help sell services into that region.

Amazon Cloud Services uses their Shipping Logistics to Build and Ship

Amazon leverages its existing shipping and logistics knowledge and applies it to a new cloud resource, a 3D Printer.

Using Amazon’s platform, a user can connect through Amazon’s cloud services, lock a shared cloud resource, a 3D printer, feed the printer one of several formats: 3D blueprint, 3D digital scan, or industry spec file format.  The object is then printed out, and shipped using Amazon’s shipping logistics engine.

Make the object you want and Amazon will ship it to you.  How much does it cost? Cost of materials used to produce the object is quantified and charged, in addition to a cloud [resource] usage fee, and potentially discounted shipping based on Amazon’s current scale.

As the service is matured, design tools, basic and advanced, will be provided to produce your designed object.  Only your imagination, and capability to express it limits your ability along with Amazon to deliver your products.

At some point, a seller can have a storefront, where objects can not only be shipped, but build on demand as well.  For example, circuit boards can be sold now, with the above engine and service, from a seller with the proper schematics.

 

Netflix Brings in Unique Content through Brand Alignment Deals

It has been announced that Netflix will utilize several Marvel Comics / Universe content to broadly expand their unique streaming offering.  However, we will now look to see the new user interface to provide additional guidance for future potential content of it’s viewers.  A new Netflix user interface will guide your selection based upon ‘friend’ or ‘family profiles’ suggestions.  If this information is then aggregated by Netflix for Business Intelligence Analysis, we will see what content brands are requested most, by demographic categories, and then targeting these brands for acquisition of unique content deals.

Business Intelligence about our user’s content stream selections, in the aggregate, will drive future deals for unique content.

Data Quota Limits on Member’s of Family Data Plans

I don’t see it when I log in to my AT&T Wireless account…yet, but I was trying to put a cap or maximum amount of the shared data each person in the plan is ALLOWED to use.  A use case, my kids are on my family plan, and I want to limit their data usage.

Another possible case, from a small business perspective, if you add a few lines on your plan, then you may allocate to specific type of employees, such as sales reps., specific amounts of data.  There are several types of widgets can be used, such as a pie chart, and the total pie represents the total data package, and each slice represents an allocation to each member of the shared plan.

Update: I stand corrected, and do see an AT&T Smart Limits for 4.99 USD per month:  Am not sure if the ‘allocation program’ is implemented like the use case I presented.

  • Block Unwanted Calls and Texts: Specify up to ’30’ blocked numbers.
  • Prevent 411 Charges: Easily block calls to 411 Info.
  • Limit Data Usage: Set monthly limits on data usage per billing cycle.
  • Limit Texting: Set monthly limit for number of text messages per billing cycle
  • Limit Purchases: Limit monthly purchases, such as apps and games that are billed directly to your AT&T account. Does not restrict credit card purchases from smartphone app stores.
  • Limit Phone Use By Time of Day: Restrict texting, data usage and outbound calling during specified times of day. Designate allowed numbers regardless of other restrictions – up to 15 numbers.

Drive to Work, Gain Followers, and Commute Partners

Imagine cruising a neighborhood, and based on proximity, gain a list of potential followers, which you would be able to view their posts, and follow.  If you are traveling N miles per hour during your commute, you may gain commuter buddies?

How about going to the same coffee shop day after day, and seeing the same person, the follower app keeps tabs on how many times a person is in X proximity to you in Y location.

Haven’t I seen you here before has factual truth, and not just a pick up line.

Stereoscope Produces 3D Images from Any Smartphone.

The Stereoscope was first invented by Sir Charles Wheatstone in 1838.  However, based on the existing product below a Stereoscope may be created and used by any smartphone taking two 2D images and making a 3D image.  See Stereoscope.  A Margolin Magnifying Video Visor, which can be easily transformed, and then photo capture and photo rendering software needs to be created per platform.

Compared to this Pocket stereoscope with original test image. Used by military to examine stereoscopic pairs of aerial photographs.

Another question, perhaps a more extensive version of this adopted tool may be used for 3D Scanning.

Powered by "To Do List Member"