Is RSS TV Coming To A Home Theater Near You?
Joining Microsoft Media Center, Apple TV, and the Wii Browser are an increasing number of products designed to get Internet content to your television. Sony’s Bravia HDTV Internet Link TV came out this year:
And HP has their Media Smart TV. The problem with both Sony and HP’s approach is that they appear to be taking a "walled garden" approach by using only select content partners or maybe simply burying direct Internet subscription options.
On the PSP, for example, you can subscribe directly to RSS feeds and Sony’s new Internet-ready TV uses the same Cross Bar interface, but I couldn’t determine if the RSS reader is available on their TV. Nevertheless, it’s clear that Sony sees the technology as an additional channel for Sony content. That, of course, is only natural but I think consumer’s are going to demand the choice to subscribe to their own content channels.
All of this, though, points to what I’ve been talking about for some time: The Internet will come to television, one way or another. And it will come through the magic of RSS. There is even a specialized RSS language being developed for Internet TV, called RSS TV.
One intriguing device that may point to the future of Internet television is the Chumby. The Chumby is a $200 open source wifi gadget that basically lets you subscribe any Internet content you like. Content providers can create widgets to which Chumby users can subscribe. The Chumby is small, appliance-like device that could easily be at home in the kitchen or living room alongside the coffee machine or on the coffee table.
Chumby’s Stephen Tomlin talks about the device:
Chumby introduction video:
Chumby playing YouTube videos:
So you can see where this is going. As the Talking Heads might say, same as it ever was; if you provide compelling content, you should be fine. It’s a matter of finding out what your target audiences want and giving it to them.