Google And I Agree On One Thing: TV Is Not Dead

It’s good to see that I am not the only one who thinks people are crazy when they say that TV is dead. TV is not dead. People kept telling me they don’t watch TV anymore and only use their computer for video. What are they watching? Nearly every single show I watch is not available on the Internet today, in any form. TV is the only place I can see it. Yes, other means of distribution are going to affect the TV platform, but people are not abandoning the TV in favor of video online like people make it sound.

And to date, those creating content for the web are not creating the type of content that I personally want to watch. And even if they were, can I get it in HD? No. Can I watch it on a large screen? No. Can I easily watch it on my computer with someone else? No. When I travel and am in a hotel, is there a computer there? No. Can I TiVo it? No. Can the Internet scale like TV? No. The TV and the PC (or Mac in my case) are not the same platforms, showcasing the same content, or providing the same kind of experience.

An article in Business Week recently said, "when the line between the TV and Internet will blur…" and it’s a comment you hear all the time. The line will never blur between them. They offer different experiences, on different devices, one via a closed network, one open. Yes, they will have some cross over, but they will never "blur". No one will even confuse their PC for their TV or vise versa.

And it’s good to see that Google agrees. Vincent Dureau, head of TV technology for Google in a keynote address at the Internet Television Technology Conference this week said that, "on the surface it looks like TV is dead, but I believe there is actually a bright future for television." has details of the  keynote here. Some of their coverage said: Every minute six hours of video is uploaded to Google’s YouTube service. What’s more, "every day 95 percent of the YouTube library is watched at least once," Dureau said. That implies there is a broad, but fragmented audience for a wide variety of content. "You need to make the long tail of this content available, and the tail is very long," he said.

But I do disagree with Dureau when he says that the biggest problem right now is that users can’t find the content they want to watch on the Internet and it’s no surprise he says that search is the way to solve this problem. For me, it’s not trying to find the content online that’s the problem. The problem is that the content does not exist online. And telling me that there might be other content that is "similar" to the content I am looking for is not an answer.

If I like to watch MacGyver, which I do, then I want to see MacGyver shows online and not something that someone created that may be similar to it. I want to see that specific show. So search is not going to help me there. The Internet is not yet ready for TV as we know it and in my eyes, there is no such thing as "Internet TV" even though it is a phrase widely used in the industry.

  • Dan,
    Here in San Antonio, we are seeing a convergence of TV and the Internet. Both ATT and Time Warner are pushing the single channel concept where a home owner can get their phone, TV and Internet in one package. So, I think it’s only the matter of time where mainstream TV starts to look at ways to use the one channel to allow someone to watch everything from McGiver to old episodes of Mystery Science Theater.
    My 18-year-old son, Pete, has shown me the UTube sites where I can watch select clips of his favorite show. I then showed him select clips from the Smothers Brothers from the 60s.
    Obviously, two major companies are seeing a convergence to both the Internet and TV. Time Warner has even enlisted Manu Ginoboli of the world champion San Antonio Spurs to serve as their “Go For 3” spokesman.
    Right now, I am a Time Warner customer, only because it’s the only local service with Showtime on Demand and HBO on Demand. I love both of those services because I can catch up on the latest episodes of “John From Cincinnati.”

  • The Business Of Online Video: Google And I Agree On One Thing: TV Is Not Dead

    Link: The Business Of Online Video: Google And I Agree On One Thing: TV Is Not Dead.

  • Bruce

    I am by no means an expert in this area but I would be hesitant to say, “never”. Wasn’t it Bill Gates that said, “640k of memory should be enough for anybody.”? In other words, we will never need more memory. I personally see television morphing more into a PC/MAC experience rather than the PC/MAC morphing into television.
    I can see our computers controlling our television. Programming our televisions and syncing up with them and recording programming for later viewing ie. DVR, TIVO type of stuff. I do agree that there are different applications for television and the computer but I don’t agree that they will not at some point merge somehow.

  • I agree too… TV is not dead.
    However… the Cable companies’ monopoly (on distributing TV) is dead. (Internet TV allows anyone to distribute TV.)
    Also.. the TV network’s monopoly on deciding what can go on TV is also dead. (With Internet TV, anyone can make their own TV show and get an audience.)
    TV is just being transformed…
    First we had terrestrial television, then cable television, then satellite television… and now we have Internet TV.
    And Internet TV has changed the dynamics of television for the better.
    — Charles Iliya Krempeaux

  • Charles you hit the nail on the head when you say “Internet TV has changed the dynamics of television for the better.” We need to start thinking of entertainment in terms of participation. The internet allows content producers to explore new ways to involve people with their favorite content.
    Content creators are slowly realizing that internet video is not about competing with TV but complimenting it or creating an entirely different experience.
    Reality show Big Brother on CBS has an interesting tie in with internet video and the TV show. Does anybody know numbers from how they are doing in terms of subscribers? Along those lines, it will be interesting to see how YouTube clips will be utilized during the elections next year.
    I remember when did a great mini series from their website a few years ago. I wish they would bring something like that back. It was great content and kept you coming back for more.

  • TV actually starts to reapear on the web. Have you seen ? Interactive but completely linear television based on user generated content.

  • When some live webcasting solutions are appearing on US market, there’s a French company named Netineo who annonced that they are working on a platform which allows anybody to make live HD quality videos. viewers can watch the flow in full screen in HD quality on Internet (next step might be in mobile + Mac + …).
    If the argument for ‘TV is not dead’ is because live webcasting can’t provide ‘HD quality’ in ‘Full screen’, well, I must say, Netineo-like solutions will be the TV terminators.

  • All-in-one TV’s are the one, checkout Alio.

  • That makes at least the three of us. me, you and Google (which is a hell of a lot more than 1). TV is far from being dead, it’s only changing platform. It’s going online 🙂