IPTV – does anyone need another box?

When I joined the beta test of SeeSaw I also registered with GetSatisfaction so that I could take part in the full beta experience and give my honest feedback on the service. Strangely though I have found that the feedback forum is more compelling than SeeSaw for me at the moment, it is like a live, interactive focus group on what consumers are demanding from future VOD products? And I’m betting it’s leaving everyone at SeeSaw (and no doubt some lurkers from Canvas) scratching their heads.

The question related to how else people who like to access SeeSaw, so this was a loaded question and that needs to be taken in context. The post is by far the most popular on the forum and the answers are quite uniform. PS3, Xbox, Wii and iphone come through again and again – with the majority of people stating one of the consoles plus their iphone.

What I find interesting about this is that no one has mentioned Freeview or any of the established boxes that are available in the market. And whilst the question did not mention the possibility of a SeeSaw box that was not mentioned either. What came across very clearly was that consumers have enough boxes under their television already, and that they want new services to work within those boxes not add to them.

As one member, Alfie, stated: “So really when you look at these responses one thing is brilliantly clear: People don’t want a new platform, and they don’t want to watch TV through a monitor/browser. Unless that browser is through their console. That’s quite a big insight to get for your service, considering your current browser-centric approach.”

SeeSaw have not hidden the fact that part of their strategy is to launch a Freeview/SeeSaw integrated box in the near future, and you can presume that it will be soon as they’ll want to beat Project Canvas to the punch. But Project Canvas is also based around a new box and you wonder if their strategy is already out of date?

Last year I was invited to speak at the IPTV Forum in London, a conference dominated by hardware companies, and I made few friends. I stated there that if you had stock in STB manufactures you should sell as quickly as possible. I haven’t been invited back this year!

With the likes of Samsung, Sony and Philips about to release TV’s with Ethernet and ConnetedTV functionality built in and with services like the excellent Boxee beginning to gain real traction – who would want to launch a new STB into the market now?

Broadcasters and aggregators need to focus on functionality, content and ensuring that their services work with multiple existing devices, rather than building a new device. Let the hardware people build the devices and the content people supply the content.

One thought on “IPTV – does anyone need another box?

  1. Pingback: TV Search and Google – the natural end game « Agit8or

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