Om Malik writes about the coming of IPTV (digital television over your Internet connection). Not surprisingly, Europe and Asia are way ahead of the US in early adoption.
Bluewin TV, one of the new IPTV services out of Switzerland, is boasting 100 TV channels and 70 radio stations.
Uh… so what?
The promise of IPTV is not to create a better television experience, it is to completely redefine what television is. TiVo took this part way, but not far enough. IPTV will pick up where TiVo has negligently left off.
That is, we demand that IPTV services include all of the social features we’ve become accustomed to in the MySpace / YouTube world. That is: collaborative filtering, user commenting, ratings, flagging, content sharing, bookmark sharing, etc.
But most importantly, IPTV holds the promise of truly democratizing the “airwaves” by opening the network up to user-generated channels.
SplashCast will enable anyone to build their own media channel, broadcasting content they’ve either created or aggregated to any web site on the web. In the not-so-distant future, these user-generated and user-programmed channels will be available in your living room. You’ll be able to flip between NBC Nightly News, the Om Malik channel (to watch his latest vodcast), the Justin Timberlake channel (to get footage of him eating breakfast IHOP — paid for by IHOP), the Barack Obama channel (to get the latest scoop on his presidential ambitions), and your brother’s channel (where your 4-year-old nephew is the star).