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eMedia Smart TV & The Demise of the Boxed Set

jeremy | Tuesday June 12, 2012

Categories: Hot Entries, New Media, Convergence, Digital Media, Integration, New Technologies

If 2011 was the year of Twitter and Facebook, then 2012 will be the year of the Smart TV. This is the now accepted name across all frontiers for fully connected television.

A Smart TV is a television set that brings to your living room all the channels from Freeview HD, or a subscribed cable or satellite service, as well as broadband internet connectivity.

So you can check your Facebook profile, or fire off a Tweet, compare insurance quotes, while watching Sherlock, all on the same screen – multi-tasking comes to the sofa.

In fact, in the sofa comfort zone reality is a little different. Research shows that people who have Smart TVs prefer not to use them to interact with social networking sites as it is ‘too public’. People prefer to watch linear television services on their Smart TV and use their laptops on their knees to chat to friends.  So why will Smart TV be the smart move of 2012?

There are two main reasons. One is called Netflix. Netflix is a US company that used to do DVD-by-mail in the same way that Amazon’s Lovefilm does in the UK. Then they launched the technology that makes them a very big player in the television viewerverse, and shakes the flat screens of the major global broadcasters such as Sky and the BBC. The technology is HD streaming. Streaming means you can see any film or TV programme in their enormous catalogue at any time and in full HD on your Smart TV or indeed on your laptop, but it looks so much better on the bigger screen. No more returning DVDs by post, just sign up, sit back and enjoy the film.

Netflix launched in the UK on January 9th 2012. Netflix has more than 20 million subscribers in the US and has launched in Canada and Latin America. It will face strong competition from online rivals, including Amazon-owned LOVEFiLM which recently surpassed two million subscribers.

Netflix is betting on a range of British produced content including full seasons of Top Gear, The Only Way is Essex,...

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