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Top 5 Tech Articles You Might Have Missed: Week of July 11

In the next few years, nearly half of our flatscreen TVs will feature social media and web-surfing capabilities. With the development of “TV Everywhere,” users often turn to their smartphones and tablets for streaming entertainment while the cable industry works to offer personalized, interactive viewing experiences that combine it all.

 In other news, Netflix left many disgruntled when they announced a significant increase in their subscription prices. Will Hulu Plus gain ground with this sudden hike in prices? Will you ditch your Netflix subscription?

1. 500 Million Internet TVs in Homes by 2015 (July 11, 2011) – By Pete Davison, GamePro: Research suggests that by 2015, around 47% of the flat-panel TV market will feature some form of internet connectivity.

2. Cable providers expand TV’s reach by pushing interactivity (July 10, 2011) – By Wailin Wong, The Commercial Appeal: The cable television industry wants TV viewing to go beyond the ability to watch the tube anywhere; it hopes to make the experience more interactive and personalized.

 3. SocialGuide debuts daily social TV rankings (July 11, 2011) – By Steve Safran, LostRemote: SocialGuide ranks shows based on their popularity in the social media sphere by day, week or month. It’s a new way of looking at engagement with programming.

 4. Beyond Netflix: where else to get your flick fix (July 14, 2011) – By Associated Press: For those looking to expand their media-consumption horizons, there are a growing number of options for watching movies and TV shows online, on DVDs or through cable TV’s on-demand services.

 5. Hulu Plus & Netflix Faceoff (July 12, 2011) – By Christina Warren, Mashable: When it comes to subscription streaming services in the United States, what option is most popular with users?

Industry leaders discuss multi-screen TV and more in CSI Mag videos

CSI Magazine recently hosted an interesting roundtable discussion highlighting the latest developments in multi-screen TV, digital rights management and the opportunities and challenges presented by this changing landscape, particularly in the European market. 

Motorola Mobility’s Andy Hooper, director of converged experiences and software in EMEA, participated in the discussion and brought a technology provider perspective to the table.  He said, “Motorola very much wants to be a leader in this regard in terms of helping [cable operators and service providers] innovate around key processes and pieces of the puzzle and then build those together… to help deliver new and interesting services to subscribers.”    

Check out the conversation in this series of videos posted from the discussion and let us know what you think.  Do you agree with some of the challenges and opportunities that the participants discussed?  What did they miss?   


Converged Experiences in Two Words

Yesterday’s Parks Associates “Connections” event in Santa Clara celebrated the analyst firm’s 25 year anniversary and featured Motorola Mobility’s David Grubb III as the welcome session keynote speaker.  The vice president of architecture and strategy for the Converged Experiences business, David discussed how these experiences are coming to fruition and the benefits to consumers. 

With three key ingredients in place – converged networks, services available via IP and application-capable mobile devices – the converged experiences landscape emerges.  While this enables “anywhere, anytime” access for consumers, what does it really mean in terms of practical usage?

“If you were to sum it up in two words, it would be ‘tablet TV,’” said David. 

He went on to share a few details on Motorola’s new Televation and Medios Xperience offerings, which were announced recently at The Cable Show that offer live TV streaming to a tablet anywhere around the home (Televation) and the tablet as a remote control/alternate content provider (Xperience). 

He also discussed the recent reports in the media touting cord-cutting/cord-shaving as a significant issue in the industry.  David rebuked those claims with some figures showing how the Internet really isn’t there yet in terms of delivery and bandwidth, ultimately demonstrating that traditional delivery mechanisms will continue to be very important for a long time to come.  Additionally, the “media omnivore” consumers who will subscribe to any and every content delivery mechanism are growing in number with the proliferation of “anywhere, anytime” content.    

Ultimately, David reiterated that converged experiences need to be friendly and valuable to consumers, not overwhelming and complicated.  The industry’s greatest challenge will be to gracefully evolve networks and services to deliver these new and exciting offerings.

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Social TV Experience

People are busy, which is why it’s no surprise that TV viewers often multitask while enjoying their favorite shows. Market research has shown that 4 out of 5 consumers with access to mobile Internet companion devices are already using them while watching shows on their main TV screen.

With that in mind, Motorola is working on a new software offering that would provide a social TV watching experience to consumers in a more direct, efficient manner. The offering will leverage this convergence of technology, community and entertainment allowing for a more enjoyable and personalized media experience.

While watching your favorite program on your main TV, you could also access complimentary behind-the-scenes content on your Motorola XOOM or other tablet – think a choreography rehearsal for “Glee” – while watching the show simultaneously, or purchase the DVD box set or other products, or even earn points by checking in and watching or rating shows, redeemable for coupons or discounts on merchandise.

Social networking will also play a pivotal role on the new application. Whether you are participating in Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’s Twitter hashtag game or updating your Facebook status about a horrible call during March Madness, the social TV experience will allow consumers to seamlessly participate in all leading social network platforms via companion devices.

What would you do with an integrated social TV experience? What types of complimentary content would you want to see?

Check out today’s press release to learn more about Social TV