Feeds

Punters 'pooh-pooh video on demand'

TiVo gets Virgin rebirth, though

New hybrid storage solutions

Viewers can't cope with the enormous responsibility of choice that personal video provides, according to US researchers at Hill Holliday.

Five Bostonian families had their access to broadcast video cut entirely over Christmas and replaced with the latest video-on-demand technology. Deciding what to demand proved more than most of them wanted - the act of flipping channels is too ingrained to disappear just because the technology makes it redundant.

"Constantly having to pick what to watch next was daunting not only because it interrupted the usual flow of TV-time activities in the house or required interacting with unfamiliar interfaces but also because of the cognitive load involved in considering all of the numerous content alternatives," said the researchers.

The researchers were working with a small sample, but noted that the families with children found it particularly hard to manage TV watching without having a programme scheduler in charge.

The results have been spliced together into a video, but it's worth reading the blog covering the experiment too:

An Experiment In Cord Cutting from Hill Holliday on Vimeo.

Meanwhile in the UK, some people are already growing up without ever seeing multiple channels. TiVo arrived in the UK in 2000, so some 15-year-olds have never known TV without instant choice.

Despite ten years of innovation and development there's still not a better Personal Video Recorder than TiVo, which is now returning embedded in Virgin set-top boxes as those with aging TiVo boxes were reminded earlier this week.

Virgin's box will show broadcast TV as well as recording it: today most TiVo users eschew live television, but the inability to understand the attraction of channel surfing was almost certainly what caused it (and its contemporaries) to fail when launched on this side of the pond, and to struggle so much in America.

Picking every programme is not what most people want, and some sort of hybrid is necessary, though that doesn't mean broadcast. Tiscali's TV service did bundle programmes together for viewers, presenting an hour of children's viewing with suggestions that the little darling be tucked up in bed at the end, an idea which could surely be expanded: a night of lads' TV perhaps, or Pretty Woman bracketed with an episode of Friends or two?

But it does appear that despite the industry having spent decades creating technologies to enable complete freedom of choice for the viewers, those viewers have decided they'd like someone else to make that decision for them. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.