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February 7, 2011

Is it time to redefine the meaning of TV?

Jim Louderback says that “…the average American household may have three TVs, but many, many more screens,” when contemplating a survey by Nielsen that revealed that the average American home has 2.93 TV sets. Consumers want to watch the programming of their choice, when they want and where they want. The use of digital video recorders (DVRs) and services like TiVo have illustrated consumers do follow specific shows, but don’t want to be confined to the original air date of those shows. Furthermore, the ability to stream content on-demand to PCs and other devices has opened yet another door for those who want to watch programming.

To understand what Jim Louderback means by more screens, let’s look at what can now be considered a TV.

retro tv Is it time to redefine the meaning of TV?

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The Traditional TV

Today, we have many options to view content: PCs, iDevices, LCDs, HDTVs, Traditional TVs, Tablet PCs and Smart Phones to name a few. While you aren’t likely to find anyone argue that a home video is best enjoyed on what could traditionally be called a TV (HDTV, LCD or Plasma), there are some new challenges involved with viewing the content you care about on that new HDTV of yours.

One such challenge is that video sources, such as your camera, aren’t always easily piped to the TV (think about snaking your way behind the TV to plug in those cables). And what about the issue of watching content when you want? Well you could buy a DVR; however, hooking up a DVR can be somewhat complicated and in the event of a power outage, a TiVo won’t record shows. This also assumes you pay for home cable or even premium channels.

Connecting a PC to a TV can be even more complicated, even if only considering the most obvious challenge–placing a computer close enough to the TV to get the cables to work. This is one reason why we created our wireless PC to TV solution.

TV Programming vs. Internet Programming

Traditional TV programming is ultimately very limiting. Any given show is on at a specific time, on a certain day, and that has been the industry standard for years. Hollywood does this so they can target demographics to advertisers and sell commercial time, which they’ve been very successful at. Consumers all the while have suffered. It’s rare that a TV series will have a rebroadcast of an already aired event during the current season and live programming, such as the news or sporting events almost never get replayed. Solutions to this issue such as DVRs help you record video for playback, but as mentioned before, have some of its own drawbacks.

The Internet and widely available broadband connections have opened up a whole new experience to consumers, and some Hollywood studios have embraced the new technology in streaming video. Showing programs a day after the original air time on affiliated websites has helped boost total show views and allowed consumers to finally dictate when they will watch preferred programming. Additional sites like YouTube and Facebook, which show videos uploaded by anyone, have spawned a real reason to sit at the computer desk and watch programming. The same can be said about portable devices, laptops, tablet PCs and smart phones.

computer to TV Is it time to redefine the meaning of TV?

What will ultimately redefine TV is the bridge between the PC and TV, via wireless audio and video. Most everyone will agree that the best experience will happen from the comfort of your favorite chair or couch, but the pain comes with getting the streaming video and other content from the Internet to the TV. Giving consumers the ability to watch TV shows on the Internet when they want, and allowing them wireless audio and video capabilities for transmitting to their TV will give the viewing audience the ultimate flexibility for enjoyment, without the need to be tied into a monthly cable bill or specific time frames.

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IOGEAR is a leading connectivity manufacturer that provides complete KVM, Connectivity, Networking, Digital Audio/Video, Mobility, and Desktop solutions.

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