TV

Go Read This | Like Dropbox For TV, Chromecast Changes The Game | LinkedIn

Interesting and smart stuff:

In the same way that making automobiles smartphone-compatible has proven to be vastly superior (and more cost-effective) than reinventing smartphone functionality and building it into every car’s dashboard, the television set paradigm has just shifted. Why pay extra for expensive technology built into your screen when you can bring your own bell and whistle to any screen you want?

That’s exactly what Google is saying with Chromecast.

While an arms race among television makers has been mustering over the development of “smart TV” that lets people use the Internet on the biggest screen in the house, Chromecast is like Dropbox for TV. Everywhere you go, you can have your stuff, on any screen, doesn’t matter if it’s “smart”, dumb, big, or small. And you can use your frigging phone or mouse instead of a remote. I think it’s one of the smartest moves the company has made in some time.

via Like Dropbox For TV, Chromecast Changes The Game | LinkedIn.

Why The Kindle Fire Worries Me

The Kindle Fire is a beautiful device (and by that I mean it looks pretty nice from a distance). What’s more, it’s at the right price and has a library of content to beat the best on offer. Yet I find it worrying, exceptionally worrying.

Worrying because it marks a shift away from a singular focus on digital books and towards other media forms. Digital books (and their publishers, traditional and self) have benefitted from Amazon’s desire to move their consumers towards digital consumption and purchasing. Benefitted enormously.

Amazon’s strategy though, as the launch of Fire makes clear, is about ALL media forms not just books. As the company builds digital sales of those media (a MUCH bigger market than books), digital books will become less important overall. At some point it may just be the case that they will cease development of a dedicated ereader, just as Apple is close to ceasing the development of a dedicated music player (or at least has relegated the music only devices to the bottom rung of its offering).

More importantly, Amazon is popularising mobile, digital media consumption and at relatively cheap prices. This long-term strategy is all the time building the competition plain text ebooks face.

There is only so much audience attention to go around and as mobile gaming, tv and film watching and web browsing become possible for everyone, it is just possible that digital books will lose out*. Of course maybe the audience that moves digital will be big enough for this to not be an issue, but even so book publishers and authors will need to compete with movies, games and music much more directly and immediately than they have in the past.

The possibility then that the Kindle Fire presents is one where the dedicated device that has done so much to build the digital book market is, however distantly, headed for a quiet retirement and the publishers who think they have it all so sorted now are going to faced a changed game yet again.

But maybe these are just wasted fears! I certainly hope so.
Eoin

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* I’m a pessimist on this score and think that possible is a definite.

Quick Link | How Apple Just Disrupted the Cable Guys | Epicenter | Wired.com

Interesting view. Personally, I’m not sold. Maybe it’s the non-US based thing.

In the Apple TV ecosystem, the phone is not just an iOS controller, it is the hub of a new personal mobile media center. Don’t get distracted by Apple’s video rental service. It sucks, for now, and won’t get people to cut the cable. But they will buy the Apple TV box, because it is cheap and they have iPhones and iPods and iPads, and they see the inexorable logic of closing the loop between their Macs and their phones and their mobile media devices and their TVs.

This loop will make it really easy for people to start consuming new kinds of content on their TVs. I bet they’ll start to use it. A lot. This is what is disruptive about the new Apple TV, not the $99 price or the rental service. Apple TV is a paradigm shift, because you always have your phone but no one lets you integrate your phone into the media center.

via How Apple Just Disrupted the Cable Guys | Epicenter | Wired.com.