About the TV-Anytime Forum

Brave New World

Today's traditional TV experience is characterized by the following attributes:

  • Time-linear delivery and viewing
  • Scheduling controlled by broadcasters
  • Content "pushed" to viewers
  • Mass medium (uni-directional, point-to-multi-point delivery)
  • Relatively limited consumer choice

Today's consumer world is one of limited convergence of content from different media types: linear TV, enhanced TV, DVD/CD, the Internet, PC, game platforms, audio/videotape and radio. These media types all require different physical platforms and delivery methods. A new world is emerging, where the old concept of TV will be replaced by an integrated entertainment/information gateway, encompassing all media.

The evolution in convenient, high capacity storage of digital information is one of the enabling technologies for TV-Anytime. Disk drives that allow local storage, retrieval and manipulation of digital content are increasing in capacity and falling in price. Aggressive estimates suggest that the amount of video a system can store per $100 will rise from four hours in 2000 to as much as 14,000 hours in 2010 .

The current TV experience will evolve into a highly personalized process. Consumers will have access to content from a wide variety of sources, tailored to their needs and personal preferences. New business models and opportunities for the various providers in the value chain will evolve in an organic market, focused on addressing individuals directly with new services. This will allow content providers to respond more effectively to audience needs.

Digital television and the emerging communication technologies have created an overabundance of programs and information available from which each consumer can choose. The consumer will need new solutions enabling smart and active decision making over viewing preferences, such as a personal "filter" for the multitude of choices, dynamically adapting to changing needs and preferences.

A central element in the TV-Anytime concept is a new generation system - the Personal Digital Recorder (PDR). As noted earlier, the rapid development of affordable high-capacity storage enables consumers to store large quantities of rich multimedia content for their personal use. This development in turn will provide new opportunities for content and service providers to offer large amounts of personalized multimedia for the benefit of consumers.

The television industry is therefore faced with a challenge to its traditional business models. Possible new business models are detailed in some of the TV-Anytime documents. These form the basis for the tools of the TV-Anytime specifications. A few examples of new business opportunities include:

  • Interactive and targeted advertising
  • Market research based on return-path analysis of viewer behavior
  • On-line content rental and sales
  • Third-party services offering "virtual channels" or "trusted guides"
  • Archiving applications allowing viewers to create off-line libraries of content
  • Applications to allow management of locally stored content
  • News/weather forecasts updated as events warrant on local storage to provide on-demand access to information

Manufacturers of Personal Video Recorder (PVR) products today must rely on proprietary solutions and partnerships with specific service providers, due to the absence of industry standards. This leads to vertical market implementations and restricts viewers to a single service provider. Standardization, on the other hand, will lead to economy of scale, interoperability and market growth. The advantages of such standardization for consumers and the industry are expected to be substantial.

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last updated: 19 March 2003