Online Video Goes Back to the TV

By: Chris Crum - September 24, 2008

Jason Miller and I were having a conversation a week or two ago about how set-top boxes might become the norm in the future, with online video becoming so popular. Because of that popularity, it only makes sense that people would like to transfer their online video viewing experience to their living rooms.

Of course some are already hooking their computers up to their televisions, but this is not an idea that has really crossed into the mainstream (at least not yet). Set-top boxes might in fact prevent that anyway, because when they allow users to stream online video to their TVs, the reasons for hooking up computers to them decline.

Roku BoxRoku, the makers of the set-top box that Netflix partnered with a while back, has been saying for a while that they are looking to partner with other content providers. Roku CEO Anthony Wood reaffrimed this at Streaming Media West. Of course Netflix also announced a awhile back that they would be streaming content through Xboxes too. With such rumblings in the online video industry, it is hard not to envision a future in which set-top boxes like Roku’s join (or dare I say even replace?) cable boxes and DVD players in entertainment centers around the world.

Roku RemoteThe more deals that happen between boxes and content providers, the closer such a future is likely to be. Roku has not announced any specific deals, but says, "We’re opening up the platform to anyone who wants to put their video service on this box… We’re going to release the software developer kit, so anyone can publish any channel, and users can access web content on their TVs." How about that? They just won’t provide a timeframe.

Imagine being able to watch all of your favorite YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, Joost, MySpace Video, Amazon, etc. content on a device on your TV while sitting on your couch, without having to hook up your computer. Something tells me that would appeal to consumers. Now we just need to get some better quality videos on YouTube. Oh, and a better selection of streamable content on Netflix.

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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  • Chris

    . While some You-tube videos gather 50 million views, thats for 5 minutes. How many minutes would you watch somebody’s dancing cat? TV on TV is still king at grabing someone’s attention  for 1/2 hour or more.

    • Chris Crum

      You may be right about YouTube, but when you take into account the shows and movies available on demand through sites like Amazon and Netflix, and for free on Hulu, etc. You’re getting your television shows on demand, with less commercials at that.

  • Diamonds

    Streaming has gotten better, I currently have my Netflix account and I could stream good quality video.  Its a shame that they only show old movies right now but hopefully that they’ve partnered with nbc and disney this might pave the way for more movies streamed online.  Until then, I will settle to watch movies on my laptop rather than buying the box for my TV.

    • Chris Crum

      I definitely expect their catalog of streaming movies to expand greatly. I have even noticed some more new(ish) releases finding their way into the available streaming movies. With online video really picking up in terms of popularity, I would expect that catalog expansion is becoming more of a priority for them. One of the biggest draws of Netflix has always been its huge selection of movies. I think this will continue in the future as the streaming catalog expands.