What a week! Every time I started writing about some potential monumental shift in the TV landscape, another company made a bold move worth writing about. So I will attempt to summarise below, in no particular order.
In the most exciting news, Amazon announced a London R&D office, to help lead development on TV and Film services.
Finally in a surprise turn of events, BSkyB announced an investment in Roku to develop new streaming hardware and services. There motives are unclear to me at this time, other than a scattergun approach to the fight against Netflix and Lovefilm.
Google announced details for their fiber network in Kansas City, including a ‘Fiber TV’ service that some major networks have not signed up for. The prices are pretty amazing, and it makes me wonder how easy it would be for Google to rollout this kind of product across a part (or all) of London.
Facebook announced their first international engineering office in London. Not strictly TV related, but important as a sign of US tech companies looking to London as an important outpost.
These are exciting times indeed, if you are in London and want to be part of the next wave of TV services…
Now TV (“powered” by Sky) launches tomorrow. The service offers contract free TV through almost any device you can think of.
A few commentators have reported that it is BskyB’s answer to Lovefilm and Netflix, but I think that is an oversimplication.
While it will compete with those services, under a brand name that doesn’t come with any baggage, so allowing Sky to try some new things (lower prices? No.), I believe Sky’s main driver for this service will be to eventually migrate people from their non-HD satellite services.
It must be pretty pricey keeping satellites in orbit for people to watch The Food Network, when there is the alternative of using other providers broadband bandwidth. This service will eventually allow them to charge a slightly lower price, while allowing them to one day relieve themselves of the massive infrastructure costs behind satellite television.
£15 for the movie pass is a tough sell although I imagine that the price will fall in time, but the proposition looks good for a number of demographics in the UK. It will be interesting to see the take up.