and i have to admit, i'm usually impressed. there's a lot of cool tech going on in the valley at the moment (even though we're in the middle of a double dip economic downturn.)
but i'm now a single co-parent. my extra time and cash goes into my family life and a college fund for the offspring. so if you want me to subscribe to your service (or buy your latest tablet) you have to show me some pretty clear value.
i had a netflix subscription until i realized i could easily replace my netflix use with hulu and redbox. and my hulu use is pretty minimal. i tried to watch lost and heros, but just couldn't get into them. i LOVE eureka and my son loves the clone wars. between my son and i, we consume about 2.5 hours of traditional televison content per week. the rest of our packaged video entertainment time is maybe 3 hours of movies per week. and when i remember to do it, i watch john stewart's daily show.
the rest of our inside entertainment time is spent playing video games (maybe an hour per day in the summer, but about two hours per week during the school year if all our homework gets done on time.) i spent a couple hours per week in second life or one of the independent OpenSimulator virtual worlds.
and i watch a metric boatload of youtube videos. i can't get enough dancing cats. i consume my media on my computer; but i would LOVE to watch videos on my TV. right now the only thing i use it for is to play DVDs and vintage nintendo games.
from talking with my peers, it seems like the main difference between me and other people is that the ratio of TV programs to youtube videos is a little bit skewed.
so i'm always surprised when companies like apple, sezmi, boxee and hulu try to shove "premium content" down my throat. i would rather wedge sporks in my eyeballs than watch most sitcoms. i won't pay to watch friends reruns or current episodes of two and a half men.
i would actually pay to watch google tech talks and nova on my TV (instead of my computer.) but i don't think i would pay much.
on thing that fascinates me though; watching movies online with friends. i used to work for the people that made second life, so it shouldn't be a surprise i have some social contacts "in world." one thing i really enjoy doing is getting a group of people together and watching a movie inside the virtual world. sadly, there's little content legally available.
the other evening 200 of my closest friends and i watched a broadcast from within second life on treet.tv. the program was obviously supported by advertisements, and i hope the treet.tv folks were able to charge enough in advertising to cover their streaming costs. the particular show, which dealt with weirdness in the emerald viewer community, had a very focused audience. if i were running ad sales at treet.tv, i would have charged a premium for the ads during that hour (due to the larger than average market,) and tried to find ads targeted towards content developers, super-users and open source developers.
i guess what i'm thinking here is there may be a "long tail" play here in internet video. youtube has part of this niche, but what i would LOVE to see is a ROKU or Nintendo video channel for "interesting science and technology programs." i have a nice television set i would like to use. but i don't want the hassle of a complete windows media center PC. i sure as heck don't want to browse the web on my TV. and i'm totally down with the idea of configuring my device on a web page i access via a desktop or laptop computer.
but the main thing i'm interested in is "watching TV with my online social network." i would love to have a "geek tv channel" that i program, that i invite my friends to view with me. i would populate the channel with live video broadcasts from the web: treet.tv, kink on tap, google tech talk reruns. i want to watch the video on my TV, but have a group text or voice chat session on my laptop.
i'm not so conceited as to think this is "the future of television," but i have to think it's closer than someone trying to sell me friends reruns for $20 per month.