Here in Belgium we have a complicated IDTV landscape. We have 2 providers : Belgacom and Telenet. Belgacom is Belgium biggest telecom provider and also has an adsl and cellular network, Telenet owns the cable infrastructure and provides telephony, cable tv and cable internet. They both have their own distibuting system, telenet trough cable and belgacom trough telephone lines. Well you will say, what’s wrong with that? Well nothing, BUT they decided they will both use a different IDTV platform. So this means that an application you made for telenet digital tv will not work if you are a belgacom subscriber. Great news for the designers and developers hu? … NOT !
This really bothers me, didn’t they learned anything from the internet story over the last 10 years? After the whole XHTML and CSS story and Internet Explorer not respecting the W3C standards … really f*ck it ! I don’t want anything more to do with the current format of IDTV. And what’s that sh*t about being interactive? I can’t image anything more than maybe some video-on-demand or voting applications.
But ok, two different platforms, we developers are used of that, but it gets worst!? Why did they both adapted a new technology, if we already have a great network and technology for interactivity, the internet!
The IDTV providers act like they invented something new and it is a step forward in technology. Well it’s not! Everything that they are trying to make, is another world wide spread network but then specifically for television. And the stupid thing is we already have a world wide network, yes … the internet. So why are both the Belgian providers (who both provide internet access) so stupid to ignore this? Why are they investing money in creating a new network if there already exists one for more then 10 years and is widely adapted? Well my guess is, just for the money. They just want to find a new way to get more money from the people.
If the providers want to bring interactivity to the television screen, why not make use of the internet. Not in it’s current form, but in a television friendly way(f.e. windows media center). And if they’re so desperate to earn money, they’ll still be able let the users pay for the content they get. Stream the television programs over the internet, make them as interactive as you want with an existing technology like for example Macromedia *kuch* Adobe Flash. Let users, chat, email, like it’s nothing. Because your tv is connected to the internet. One of the advantages is that I’ll be able to access the same TV programs on my laptop. I’m not in need of a television to watch the IDTV programs. Because internet access is enough. On a mobile phone it’s just the same, you just need an internet connection to have access to the same information you can get on your tv of pc. Content stays the same, layout just depends on the functionalities of your device.
I can’t understand why they decided to use a whole new technology for this medium, as developers we are struggling to get everything on the same standard (example: different css styles for a different devices). They just completely ignored that. Well maybe I’m overreacting but I just can’t see what they are trying to achieve with this.
What are your taughts ? comment…