Monday, February 07, 2011

Your Next Buzz Word: TV Anywhere

"TV Anywhere" -- a perfect expression of freeing content from the 1980s broadcast network exclusivity mentality is going to dominate the conversation for college athletics over the next few years.

Let's be honest: fans choose the highest amount of bandwidth available. If you can watch the game on TV, you will. The laptop or mobile device is only an option when you can't get the flat screen. Same for live blog, live audio/radio and live stats. They are not cannibalizing significant audience from each other if one is free and the others aren't. CBS figured it out with the Final Four in 2008, NBC with the Beijing Olympics. We've talked about this problem since 2008.

The cable providers and the high-value added cable channels are aware, and they are the big power behind TV Anywhere. If you pay for the programing, you should be freed of the cable box. It supports paid content and services the demand of portability.

ESPN3 is the best sports example of this.

Why do I bring it up today? To point out to you this very important technology update. At the end of last week, Cisco bought Inlet Technologies. So? Inlet is the king of adaptive streaming devices. Cisco might have the cool "telepresence suites", but only Jack Bauer and President Palmer can afford them. This means Cisco has wrapped up the next level down ability.

It follows some other interesting equipment changes. Anyone else notice that Canopus -- the little magic translation box used by hundreds of universities and colleges and smaller video productions to convert analog video/audio to FireWire digital and streaming -- is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Grass Valley, the huge legacy broadcast production equipment provider. That's a direct recognition of the growing power of this "low end" gear.

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