What is TV? #WorldTVDay

On World TV Day, our thoughts go to what TV is. Many of the conversations (read arguments) in the industry today are colored by the definition of TV in those conversations.

Some see TV as being content consumed on the TV display device only.

Some see TV as being the service that is supplying the TV display device in the home with content.

Some see TV as being the service that supplies content to all of the display devices in the home.

I am sure that many other variations of these can be thought up.

The gap though that the first two definitions provide is where we have OTT services and ‘digital’ services like YouTube and others making their play – seeing themselves as being distinctly different to TV. This is the crux of the meta ‘TV is dying’ as consumption becomes more varied, with more content sources and with more display devices blurring the end to end ecosystem. However what would the consumers believe…

There will be consumers who can agree that TV is separate to the content displayed on their PCs, smartphones and tablets but something very interesting then takes place when those consumers become savvy with the various devices and services that are available – those that have access to services that make that ‘digital’ content available to them beyond the laptops and tablets of this world – that make it available on the TV screen.

Does this ‘digital content’ suddenly become TV? Or does it make the TV screen suddenly become ‘digital’. I don’t think so. It reconfirms the view that TV is the service of providing content onto whatever screen. Consumers just see all of it as being TV – content that they want to watch on whatever screen that they can.

This is today’s world, where we have separated the display device from the content delivery, where it does not matter whether it is delivered by broadcast, satellite, cable, IPTV, or OTT – we have the TV everywhere ( a key definition ) future, where content no matter what the source is, can be made available whenever and wherever the consumer wishes to consume it and on the ‘best display device’ that they have access to at that particular time in their everyday life. Even if it is the big screen in their lounge or the smartphone in their pocket on the bus.

It is therefore very arguable that TV is the service that supplies content from whatever source – that TV service may be YouTube, it may be Netflix, it may be Twitch or it may be BBC1 – delivered via broadcast, satellite, cable, IPTV or OTT. It is the supply of content for viewing at a distance from the source – hmm, Tele Vision… Content ranging from a computer game being played right through to the biggest blockbuster movie.

It is with this that looking at all the articles, statements and figures describing the death of TV suddenly become much more positive, as these are now articles containing evidence about the bountiful life of TV – where overall consumption of video content is growing leaps and bounds, where we consume it more often, for longer, and with more diverse a mix of sources – a veritable golden age.

TV looks very healthy indeed.

Fairmile West is a Consulting company focused on working in the Consumer Device and Video arena. We work with clients on technology strategy and product delivery through key practices in Consumer Devices and Video Services. If you are interested in learning more about what we do, please do get in touch via our website – Contact us. You can also keep track with what interests us in the industry by following our Link blog at TV Tech News, and you can specifically follow news on Ultra HD via the following link – Ultra HD News.