I Want My Cloud TV!
Cloud Television

I Want My Cloud TV!

10/13/2010 by Larry Salvatoriello
How the cloud is transforming the entertainment experience.

Whether we know it or not, we have all been enjoying some type of entertainment in the cloud. From the early days of Napster to today's iTunes, we have all trended to the cloud to get a favorite song or movie. It's a great thing, however because there are so many media outlets and services it is very hard to get that one stop shop for all your entertainment needs. Not to mention, the cable companies own the marketplace for live television. Due to some recent events, here is why I believe we are closer to an ultimate, cost effective, cloud entertainment experience then ever before. 

More Streaming Content

The first bit of news is Blockbuster announcing it was going into bankruptcy. The key point here is not the Blockbuster downfall but that Netflix, its #1 competitor, is going in the opposite direction by moving from brick and morter operations to a more agile low overhead model. Why are people loving Netflix? Aside from the fact that people don't want to get in their cars to go to the movie rental store if they don't have to as well as the no late fees - it's the streaming service, of course. Currently Netflix has about 20,000 titles available for viewing online immediately and it's only growing. With televisions, gaming consoles and media players already having the ability to interface with Netflix it is easy for people to snuggle up on a couch and watch hours and hours of content for under $10 a month. Add to that mobile devices like iPhones and iPads which people can use to watch The Simpsons while on go. 

Companies Play Nice Together

The next and most important bit of news was the release of the new Apple TV and Google TV. The Apple TV has been around for years as an Apple "Hobby" but the new revision is very impactful for the world of cloud entertainment. For $99 not only can I watch and listen to all my iTunes content on my television and home entertainment system but I can access my Netflix account as well! The Google TV intends to reinvent the entire TV experience with Applications, Search, and the Web all in one. Apps like Netflix and Pandora delivered to our TV sets means a totally new paradigm for what the large HD panel in the living room can do. Without companies like Apple, Google and Netflix willing to play together, there would be no chance in conquering the traditional old guard television and media market. This is a huge indicator that the time is coming.

Who Needs Live TV?

Other then live sporting events which some people a actually recording btw, who cares about live tv anymore? Even the cable companies provide most network shows on their "On Demand" service. There are devices such as the Slingbox that stream my TV signal over the web, there are applications on mobile devices that allow me to watch live sporting events like the MLB App or the NFL package from DirectTV. With recording devices like TIVO and our fast pace lifestyles, no one is running home to catch the new episode of The League (though it's a great show and should be watched by all via iTunes). If its not important then why am I paying such a premium for the content when really all I need is the high speed connection to the web?

Ala Carte Entertainment 

With a $99 Apple TV and an $8.99 a month subscription to Netflix, I get as close to a one stop shop entertainment experience as possible today. After looking at my $100 a month cable bill for 300+ channels I rarely watch and almost never watch live for that matter, I dream of the day I can have all of this available through 1 service. Times are changing and we will get there with more services sprouting up to stream live content to us wherever we are with whatever device we happen to have handy at that particular moment.