Among the questions we’ve asked our panel of experts was this one: Will online video make it into the living room in 2008?
Their selected responses are below. We’d love to hear your take on the question or on our panelists’ predictions in the comments. For more information on the NewTeeVee 2008 outsourced predictions, see this post.
John Cioffi, Hitachi America professor of engineering at Stanford (a.k.a. DSL soothsayer):
“Not yet — the boxes and technologies which will bridge the gap are still difficult to use and the navigation paradigm hasn’t been worked out for browsing online videos from your couch.”
“Yes, but in a rudimentary way. The problem will still be finding a way
to merge the lean-back experience of TV with the lean-forward or
immersive experience of the web. The visual element may make it to the
living room, but the full experience may not necessarily ‘make it.'”
Henry Jenkins, director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program and Peter de Florez Professor of Humanities (media and popular culture academic):
“You are falling prey here to what I call the black box fallacy — the idea that the future lies in the integration of media technologies. Certainly, some consumers are going to want ways to watch YouTube and other online media
content via their living room flatscreen televisions, yet they will quickly discover that the content that engages us in grainy, halting images on a small screen may not be the stuff we want to stare at projected on a wall-size unit. There’s an intimacy about the confessional video, say, projected in a small window on our computer or an immediacy about the kinds of videos we want to watch and pass on to our friends that’s very different from the awe we feel watching a wall-size projection of Battlestar Galactica with Surround Sound.”
“It will definitely get there. For me, the interesting issues are how it will get there, who controls the food chain and how long it will take until it is pervasive. Customers have clearly indicated that the solution cannot include the hassle, cost or shelf space required for another box. That means the service will most likely be delivered either through the existing satellite/cable box, a game console or the TV itself. I’m spreading my bets.”