After fielding tons of calls regarding GoogleTV's
announcement yesterday, Rob Shambro, GenosTV's CEO decided to dissect the "AlternativeTV" market. Genos
decided to dissect the players and their offerings due to several misconceptions in this space.
First, define IPTV, Internet Protocol Television. It comes in three main groups: Live TV, time shifted programming and video on demand. Essentially it is the playing of Internet Encoded Media on a traditional television. Most video starts off the same way. It is the way that it is encoded or encapsulated that makes it different. The rules, regulations and the intentions of the content rights holder is the most important differentiator. Most IP media is in the form of video on demand and internet generated content, like you would see on YouTube. Getting this media to play on the TV is what most of the players are focusing on. IP media is awesome since it typically can be played when and how you want it. More video is available in IP form.
Getting the video from the Internet to play on the TV comes in many flavors. First, one can take a computer, set it close to the TV and connect its video and audio outputs to that of the TV. Often this is not an easy process since every TV and computer has different inputs and outputs. Secondly, we have the extender concept which addresses this issue. Extender for Windows Media Center is available on the Media Center Edition, Vista and Windows 7. It allows a computer to connect to a network and an authorized device like the XBOX360, Linksys DMA, Samsung Media Live and the HP MediaSmart. The process still requires the end user to make the selection at the computer level.
Now for the Hybrid, stand alone and embedded solutions providers. The GoogleTV platform will be made available through various TV service providers and hardware manufacturers -- as a separate box or integrated into TVs and other provider boxes. The service seems to have two offerings -- indexing your stored media and provide search capability of your subscribed channels from your cable provider, YouTube and other web content. It's a browser for your TV. A quick Google search on GoogleTV today, shows very mixed emotions on the service, leaning towards the "not so impressed.".
AppleTV is a stand-alone Internet-to-TV service -- heavily weighted by iTunes and offering lot of IP movies on demand and a decent selection of television episodes, that are Internet Encoded, for sale. So you can buy last week's episode of House for $2.99. However, the TED speeches are awesome.
The Roku box is driven by Netflix. Netflix and Roku work like an extender. You have to plug your Roku box number into the Roku website for it to be authorized, then you choose the movies from the Netflix site that are internet enabled. Next the Roku box is notified and you can watch your chosen movies from Netflix on your TV. They do have Pandora, which plays on the TV, which is cool since it makes it easy to connect your music to your entertainment center. Don't lose the remote!!
If the box has a browser it is most likely NOT an extender. If you have to use your computer to search or choose in any way, and that decision is send to another box like the Linksys or HP, then it is an extender.
Now GenosTV has two services that are very different from the offerings of the above players. GenosTV is a Cable TV Provider, WORLDWIDE. You would cancel your cable or satellite service and order GenosTV. The difference is that you will only have to pay for the channels that you want. Genos is unbundling Cable TV. "You buy the Genos box for under $100 after the company's launch at CES Jan., 2011. You connect the box to your TV and broadband Internet. You sign up. You pick your language. You pick your channels, which run between 2-3 dollars per month. Then you THANK THE BOX", says CEO, Rob Shambro, "Imagine the cost savings!" The Genos Service comes with TVME, the next killer app, which allows anyone in the world to create their own television station for free. When our video guide comes up on the TV, you will be able to choose from your cable channels, TVME Business Channels, TVME Celebrity Channels, Licensed Web Content and then “your” channel and your friend’s channels. Shambro said, “We are creating the New Video Internet. The Genos cable box and video guide is the new browser and TVME is our way of getting people to build a video website for the new VNET (video internet) that Genos is creating. Our exclusive channels will be created by you, the consumer.” Genos has filed 6 patents that surround the service and its offerings. We are not really focusing on Internet Media Search and Indexing like GoogleTV, or DVD by mail with and Internet Backup like Roku/Netflix. Genos will change the way you view the television.