Friday, November 24, 2006

Video in The Netherlands: integrating television and IP (5)

Video on internet is also giving an incentive to internet on television. Microsoft has been active in this field with Cabo TV in Portugal in the late nineties; internet television never succeeded. But now an interesting project is developing in the South of The Netherlands. I have written about the project before, but now I have more details and a presentation (in Dutch though).

Media Mall is a service integrating television in an interactive IP environment. It uses open standards and works without middleware. Most websites can be projected on the screen with a simplified interface. By using smart connections partners can build their own environment.
Traditional television will be over as personal content can be added and shared, clubs can have their own channel, advertisers can advertise interactively and the new television can function as a lead generator. Presently the pilot services have a start page, a personal section, a section on their city, thematic channels and commercial channels (BMW, Go Fast, VoD). All that is needed is a decoder and one channel selector.

So far the there have been two pilots, one in the city of Roermond and one in the metropolitan area Sittard-Geleen. The next step is to canvass The Netherlands. Media Mall has a participation of the incumbent telco KPN, which is eager to put up compition to the cable operators

At the Cross Media Cafe Mr Ruud Smeets, CEO of Media Mall, presented some statistics from the first two pilots. Almost everyone (90 percent) looked at least 1 time a month. 1in 3 looked at on demand photographs daily. 1 in 5 played music one or more times. More than thousands of content properties such as photographs, texts, video and music have been added by consumers, companies and other providers. Daily new video items are uploaded. There are now more than ten paid channels.

The Media Mall is an interesting service as it combines traditional television with a full service concept of interactive internet services. Technologically it is not a super complicated concept. Besides it keeps the amount of decoders down and gives the user one channel selector in his hand. For the service operator it is interesting that consumers can upload material themselves; also small and medium enterprises can manage their channels. It will be more complicated when companies like BMW want to have a lead generation system in its own back office. Media Mall is the embodiment of all the buzz words which are going around.

Tags: video, movie, TV

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Blog Posting Number: 581

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