There's a war going on in our living rooms but most of us don't know it. The fight pitches consumer electronics brands, broadcasters and a new breed of broadband IPTV service providers against each other, with the prize being ownership of our eyeballs.
Battle lines were drawn in January 2010, with the commercial launch of Internet-enabled (or 'connected') televisions from the likes of Samsung, Panasonic and Toshiba at the Las Vegas CES electronics show. At the same event, a number of set-top-box manufacturers introduced live streaming of Internet services to TVs. These moves blur the boundaries between web-based services and TV broadcast, offering viewers unprecedented choice in content, both in 'sit-back' broadcast and 'lean forward' content discovery/social networking modes.
From a UK perspective, we see limited ways to play this important new media trend:
• Set-top box providers delivering Internet to the TV: Companies such as
• Pay-TV operators: Both
• Free-to-air TV operators: The pioneers of video-on-demand through catch-up TV services, BBC and