Thursday, May 12, 2005

Video changes the face of Internet

This morning I went to an exhibition for the audio-visual industry in the broadcast heart of The Netherlands, Hilversum. It was an exhibition for insiders and connoisseurs of camera’s and Apple hardware. I went to the exhibition to see how far we have moved in the Dutch broadcasting area and online.

It took until 1996 before the broadcasting industry in The Netherlands took notice of new media such as CD-ROM, CD-I and Internet. But the real break through came two years ago with cable capacity of Gbs. By now the broadcasting companies, public or commercial, are using streaming video, presenting live programs and delayed programs.

What I love about the broadcasting environment is the quality of the movies. Broad screens, intense colours and High Definition (HD). Anyone can see that a quality leap will be made in the next two years. But there will be more implications than hardware wise.

With the arrival of ADSL and glass fibre, video is becoming a commodity, although. The capacity for video increases, but in ADSL there is still quite a range on the lower end which makes streaming of stamp video possible. With ADSL2+ and glass fibre capacity for video streaming the quality changes.

This video problem reminds me of the video problem CD-ROM and to a lesser extent CD-Interactive, the Philips precursor of the DVD, used to have. When video was made possible on the CD-media the video was as great as big stamp. You could see things move, but this was not for pleasure. At that moment it did not make a change to the interface design. The rest of the screen was cluttered with all kind of texts and illustrations, while the movie would be “projected” in the stamp like black space. It took some time for Quicktime, Real player and Windows Media Player to come around for the CD-ROM and the video cartridge for the CD-I and with small steps the video space grew. Now full screen video is possible. And it changes CD-ROM as well as DVD Rom screen design.

The same goes for Internet screen design. You see the video spaces grow on screens. Oh, you still see stupid situations. One Dutch newspaper recently introduced an editorial staff experiments with video. The editors offer you a newspaper page with a small video box. So the news is arranged like in the newspaper and instead of a photograph there is a video window. So, on the static page you see a video rolling after a click. It is like you see a horse drawn automobile and so far removed from Reuters news pages or BBC or even the Dutch public broadcast.

So with the growing video capacity also the screen design will drastically change. The cluttered pages of the newspapers will migrate to large screen video, with ticker tapes and SMS feeds. Newspapers will have to move to broadcast like screen designs and news delivery.

No comments: