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Web-to-TV: A Star Is Born Every Second

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It won’t be long until, if you so choose, that you can be a TV star, even if your show only shows up on a handful of sets. The technology is already in place to stream user-generated content onto the television screen, and scores of visionaries are working to make that a broader reality.

WebProNews publisher Rich Ord sat in on the User Created Content session at VON. Speakers included Julius Genachowski of Rock Creek Ventures and General Atlantic; Mike Hudack, CEO of Blip.tv; Chris O’Brien, CEO of Motionbox; Dmitry Shapiro, CEO of Veoh; Rex Wong, CEO of Dave.tv; and Mary Hodder, CEO of Dabble.

Dimitry ShapiroDmitry Shapiro has a dream. He wants to watch a reality show starring a sound engineer and all “his gear,” in which the sound engineer shows him all kinds of new “gear.” He would like to see this show on his TV tonight for ten hours.

“Did I mention I am a strange guy?” he asked. And that was the point. People have strange tastes and not everything packaged up nicely on cable TV is to the taste of everyone. For guys like Dmitry, there needs to be the Sound Guy Channel. For guys like me, there needs to be the Pens, Ghosts, and Stuff-I-Can’t-Afford Channel.

“You can’t program to strange people,” said Shapiro.

But when the audience becomes a network of producers, and strange people make up a part of that network, the cheap, easy-to-produce videos appear. All we need now, is a way to organize it all and pipe it through to the TV, viewable in a way that TV is viewed already.

Enter something like Veoh, which Shapiro calls “a new type of television broadcasting” using a peer-to-peer delivery method. The p2p platform allows broadcasters to use newly defined “spectrums” to deliver content. This is what happens “after YouTube,” says Shapiro. You want Sound Guy in the living room? You got him.

Blip.tv’s Mike Hudack mentioned “Brian,” who uploads video from downtown Baghdad to Blip.tv. “He has now developed a show via Blip.tv that is amazing. Brian shouldn’t have to worry about hosting, advertising and distribution.” That’s Hudack’s job.

Hudack plugged a deal with Akimbo that will allow content on the site to be available on regular TVs. “We are also encouraging people like Brian to make their content – especially his B-roll footage – available with an open license so that others can utilize this footage as well.”

Of course all this means that Web-to-TV broadcasts, which lay about on the Web all disorganized like, will need to be aggregated and pulled together. Mary Hodder adds Dabble to the mix for exactly that reason. “Media is really hard to search,” she said, “especially user-generated video.”

Soon, people will be complaining about TV choice overload rather than “there’s nothing on TV.” And your favorite TV celebrity could be the low-pantsed plumber next door.

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Web-to-TV: A Star Is Born Every Second
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