Get Your Content Anywhere — Again
from the ease-of-use dept
It seems like every week we hear about another plan to let people view the content on their computer or home network remotely. The latest in an increasingly long line to launch this type of solution is a company called Orb Networks, which will apparently let you access media files, including TV shows, from your home network and stream them to your laptop or phone elsewhere in the world. Of course, this really isn’t all that different from products that have been around for ages that let you access your home hard drive — but the change in positioning is really a way of pointing out that these solutions aren’t just for geeks any more, but are designed with ease of use in mind. Either way, the article suggests that this is going to upset Hollywood, though the system can’t even access TV shows unless the company does a deal with the various PVR providers like TiVo. It seems like the company itself is playing up the potential confrontation with Hollywood simply for the PR aspect of it all. Still, there is something to be said for making it easier for you to have access to whatever you want, wherever you want it on whatever device is most handy. The next question, though, is whether or not the central storage of all that info really belongs on a home computer, or off on an internet server somewhere more protected.
Comments on “Get Your Content Anywhere — Again”
I think we can figure out where Sony stands. They recently introduced the VAIO Type X in Japan, which has a terabyte of storage (500 GB for computer data and 500 GB for media storage) and seven TV tuners (one for each of Japan’s broadcast networks). They claim it can record six channels for 5.5 days continuously (it wasn’t said why they used six channels instead of seven).
Years ago, I came up with an idea for a science fiction story I was thinking of called Compu-View (or CV for short), where all shows were basically available from a centralized computer facility. You could watch shows “live” (at the time they were originally put online) or any time after that at your convenience. It was basically what we now call video-on-demand,
Of course, I doubt we’ll see a nice single service like that any time soon, both due to technical reasons and all of the media conglomerates and broadcasters who would be opposed to such a system.
However, as long as I can access my media anywhere, I don’t much care if it’s stored locally or at a centralized location. A centralized location could make it easier to access from anywhere, but also could make it more difficult to share.
Re: Sony's Take
I think you’ll see your idea sooner than you think. With devices like those from Dave Networks, Microsoft, and now Orb we’re beginning to see a more mainstream consumer push towards on-demand entertainment, including television. This concept is being reinforced with companies like Comcast commenting on the content they are collecting and further reinforced when you start to look at how some networks are starting to reorganize their businesses. Terry Semel being a potential Eisner replacement, for example. Or more recently, MTV appointing former Microsoft exec Denmark West to the newly created “business development” position.
Like the newspaper industry, the entertainment industry is about to undergo some dramatic changes. Trouble is, most of them don’t realize it yet.