Looking at what comes after mobile. This week, we look at TVs.
So it took me some time to figure out what the Mac mini is about. Not so much what it is but what it’s impact in the long run may be and why and how it matters. Size matters My first thought, when I read the specs, was about the size of the device. My Shuttle computer, is 6 inches high by 8 inches wide and 12 inches long (yes, I had to pull out the ruler on that one). By comparison, the Mac mini comes in at 6.5 inches square and 2 inches high. Something tells me that there is more to the dimensions that pure aesthetic design. For comparison’s sake, I decided to take a quick look at my entertainment center: 2 inches happens to be about the height of my VCR (yes, I still have one) and my DVD player is taller than that. I then decided to look around the web. Tivo 2 boxes come in at over 3 inches in height; The smallest Windows Media Center edition machine (from Hush Technology) comes in at 3.9 inches in height. In fact, I could find very few items that would come in at the same size. Somehow,…Read More
The impact of modular approach can also be felt in the television business. Personal Video Recorders like Tivo have managed to break down television into its most basic set of modules: the TV show, attacking the concept of broadcasting in the process. The problem here is that television stations have been working on bundling several TV shows as part of a package. The science of primetime planning is predicated on the concept that people who watch one TV show may also take a look at shows that are broadcast before and after that particular show. Based on this concept, TV stations can prop up the audience of a particular show by broadcasting it at a time that is close to another more popular one. However, Tivo breaks down that logic by giving the user leeway in terms of what they see (only the content they want) and when they see it (when they want), distributing audiences over any time of the day. The Tivo approach is breaking the TV business model because it attacks the concept of primetime television. On Tivo, primetime is any time, which means that audiences become much harder to track and makes it impossible to assume…Read More
EE Times and IGN report on the introduction of a new gaming console by Sony. Not, it’s not the much vaunted PS3, which is still supposedly on track for 2005 but something much more interesting (at least to me): a PS2 gaming box that also includes a progressive DVD player and recorder, a 120Gb Hard Drive, TV tuner, an ethernet port, USB 2 connection, and a memory stick reader. Looking at the back of the box, it looks like it will also include telephone connectivity, DVI out and a way to get component video and Svideo both in and out of the system. To run all this, they seem to have developed an innovative interface that shows their intent to play in the music, video, game, television, and more space. That’s a lot of things, if you think about it, for a single device but it points to a variety of possibilities. For starters, it makes it pretty clear that gaming consoles are growing up. With this device, Sony is signaling its intent to take its leadership in the gaming world and extend into a more widespread all/media space, serving as a home server for any bits that gets into…Read More