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New Controls for Viewing Sports Television

The third speaker in this session at EuroITV 2009 is Stephen Lynn, who shifts our focus to using multimedia annotations to provide a different sports viewing experience, initially for American Football. Currently, such TV content is accessed mainly still through the digital video recorder (DVR), and its most commonly used functionality remains fast forward and rewind, which is often frustrating to use.

Using annotations, there may be an opportunity to move towards other, more salient forms of random access to specific points in a game - accessing and rewatching specific plays or game phases, for example (also from multiple camera angles), and accessing the game statistics for a specific play, for example. At the same time, such controls must still be able to be used in a 'lean-back' mode that is typical for the conventional television experience.

Towards Smart TV

If this is Thursday, I must be in Belgium... I've made the (surprisingly lengthy) trip from Hamburg to Leuven near Brussels for the EuroITV (as in, interactive television) conference. On the face of it, this may seem only peripherally connected to my own research interests, but in my paper I'll be continuing to explore the theme of user-led disruptions to the conventional television model which I addressed in my MIA article and the presentation at the Australasian Media & Broadcasting Congress last year.

We start with a keynote by Rich Ezekiel, Director of Yahoo! Connected TV. He begins by outlining Yahoo!'s successful experiments with TV widgets. This responds to changed user expectations for television, which are driven not least also by phenomena such as increasingly powerful DVRs, video on demand, growing Internet connectivity in TVs, a proliferation of TV channels (whose content is no longer identified through electronic programme guides, but through a search logic), and substantial changes to the economics of content.

The User-Led Disruption: Self-(Re)broadcasting at and Elsewhere (EuroITV 2009)

The User-Led Disruption: Self-(Re)broadcasting at and Elsewhere

Axel Bruns

  • 4 June 2009 - EuroITV, Leuven, Belgium

The rise of videosharing and self-(re)broadcasting Web services is posing new threats to a television industry already struggling with the impact of filesharing networks. This paper outlines these threats, focussing especially on the DIY re-broadcasting of live sports using Websites such as and a range of streaming media networks built on peer-to-peer filesharing technology.

1989, Then and Now

For the world, 1989 was a momentous year. East Germans take to the streets in weekly protests. Poland's Solidarnosc is legalised, and later wins the Polish elections. Hungary defortifies its border with Austria, sparking a wave of defections from Eastern bloc nations to the West. Czechoslovakia's velvet revolution ends decades of communist rule, and Václav Havel is elected president. Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu is forced from power. And the Berlin Wall comes down, quite literally, in small pieces and large chunks. Also that year, Chinese troops crush the Tiananmen Square protests. George Bush the elder becomes US president, Ayatollah Khomeini dies, and Kurt Waldheim becomes president of Austria, while the last Soviet tanks leave Afghanistan and the rise of Slobodan Milosevic's nationalists begins in Yugoslavia. And in Australia, Andrew Peacock succeeds John Howard as opposition leader. That, at least, is what the history books and annual digests will tell you.

Hello TiVo - Goodbye TiVo?

I've spent some time last year (and I hope to do more of it in 2009) talking and writing about the increasing challenge to traditional television which the growing online video sector poses - both in terms of the original content available from the likes of YouTube and and in terms of the shared and re-broadcast television content available from and various bittorrent networks.

My argument in that context was that such online services are gradually becoming more convenient than television itself, even where it's enhanced through VCRs, DVRs, TiVos, iPod Videos and other time- and space-shifting devices. Well, as it turns out, younger television audiences at least in the US agree with me. The Wall Street Journal reports that a new study by Solutions Research Group found that

Disruption 2.0: Broadcast vs. Social Media (AM&BC 2008)

Disruption 2.0: Broadcast vs. Social Media

Axel Bruns

"FASTRACKED FROM THE US." The words appear every day on our television screens. But apart from the embarrassing misspelling, what do they tell us?

After a Lengthy Silence...

Never go on holidays... Looks like a few days into my holiday on the Sunshine Coast, one of the electrical storms sweeping through Brisbane these days knocked out the server, even in spite of various forms of surge protection. Ah well - a motherboard replacement and some serious fiddling with Linux later (massive thanks to Nic Suzor for pointing me to the tip that enabled my successful necromancy), here we are again.

And while we're here, I might as well note that the audio and Powerpoint from my Interactive Minds presentation on 27 November are now online. I'm afraid the audio quality is, shall we say, 'for collectors only', but here it is, for what it's worth. This end-of-year IM event aimed to highlight trends in 2008 and predictions for 2009, and regular readers of this blog will recognise a few of my recurring obsessions. Many thanks to Jen Storey for the invite.

Futures for Advertising on Digital TV Platforms

Up next at the Australasian Media & Broadcasting Congress is Robert Leach, Head of MCn Connect, whose interest is in digital television - and he begins by saying that interactive TV is now here; he finds it impossible to watch TV news without being able to 'press the red button' and get the latest news headlines. (Hmmm... Most Australians appear to use the Internet for this, rather than pay-TV?) Digital TV is changing rapidly. Does this mean the death of TV and TV advertising?

No, says Robert - we are watching as much TV as we ever have done, even though usage of other devices is also growing. Where the major growth area lies is digital video in its various forms. In the digital environment, devices have multiplied, but media are converging; the challenge for marketers and advertisers is to involve and engage audiences in video content. Where the Clinton campaign slogan in 1992 was "it's the economy, stupid", today the slogan for advertisers should be "it's the content, stupid" - if broadcasting or other media forms are declining, this is not the fault of technology, but of the content being broadcast. Great content will continue to attract a mass audience - but that audience may exist across a wide variety of devices from conventional televisions to online and mobile devices, scattered across time and space.


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