Murdoch: iPod Video is “Small Time”

Murdoch: iPod video is “small time,” DirecTV to get broadband | | CNET Well you might dismiss it as sour grapes from a competitor, but I think Rupert Murdoch makes a good point.

“‘How many people really want to get video on a tiny screen when they already have TiVo or a similar service from their cable company or DirecTV?’ Murdoch said in the Newsweek interview. ‘What’s been announced so far with iPod and Disney and NBC is very small-time at the moment.'”

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  1. Dave! says:

    It is small time… for the moment. But it’s a good start/proof of concept. If I could *easily* take my Tivo over to a friends and plug it in to watch a show…

    Bottom line: we want our media where and when we want it. At least Apple gets it.

  2. Carl says:

    Notwithstanding that Murdoch is right (quite possibly for the first time in his life), I find it interesting that his first words are of TiVo – a company that is unceremoniously being booted from providing DVRs to one of his companies (namely, DirecTV). What a jerk.

  3. Tim says:

    I wonder what the numbers of people that use regular ‘over the air’ tv vs people that use cable/satellite television is. I’m guessing over the air is more, just given the vast reaches of america that can’t get cable.

    So, here’s the thing. I happen to work sort of in the broadcast television industry. Most everything you watch on television these days is STILL essentially analog. Basically, someone records something on DigiBeta tapes, encodes it into an Avid editing station, dumps it back onto tape, re-encode into some sort of on-air management system like a Harris system. This is how pretty much everybody does it, more or less. There are systems that will keep previously broadcasted encoded content so it can be re-used, but, essentially, everything’s still on tape.

    It’s a hard concept to believe, until you start looking at the prices of things. One of our clients is buying 26 TB of storage to store 30 days worth of high-res content online. 30 days. That’s how huge these files are. Most encode at 25 Mbit, which is 13 GB of data for an hour of data, but some are using 50 Mbit video streams, which are 26 GB of data. So, figure out how much 16 TB would have cost 2-3 years ago, and, ther reality of it is, it’s just becoming affordable for the industry to start using wholly digital workflow solutions.

    I also happen to know that the industry is in the process of going to all-digital formats. I’m actually quite curious how the iTunes Video Store gets it’s video. Somehow, it wouldn’s suprise me if a tape is duped, sent via courier to someone at Apple, then encoded to the given QT specs, then uploaded to the store.

    Essentially, the gist of this post is that, while the iPod and it’s iStore aren’t ideal for everyone, there’s certian segments of the market tht they work very well for. Once broadcast television companies start using wholly-digital workflows, their ability to distribute given content to both a VOD provider as well as broadcast as well as to the iTunes music store becomes a simple proposition. In 2 years, Murdoch will see it as a ‘cheap’ revenue stream for his organization.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure you are looking at the larger picture. These devices are not ever going to need to compete with Tivo, at best they are snap-in’s to Tivo, and complimentary. It is niche right now but as the function becomes common it has a lot of potential. I have Tivo, I have Comcast’s POS dvr, I have MCE, I have mythtv.
    You know what? It would still be easier to hand my ipod or what not to somebody to watch some Olympics then setup my laptop, or god forbid leave my laptop with family versus a stand alone media device. Something I have been musing about while my wife is in the hospital.
    Small isn’t a problem if your not far sighted (to a point). Why do all the mobile operators think TV on the cel phones will be big? It won’t but as screens grow and resolutions and storage becomes cheaper still VOD’s remote or local could be very big on the cel. How about when I plug the ipod or phone in to a match box size projector? Or can easily run a cable out for monitor display? It’s all about ease of access and consumer convience, something that somebody like Murdock will never understand because he believes whole heartedly in his black little heart in closed systems and not in fair use.
    Of course all the DRM and closed systems being forced on us by the IP owners are doing their best to absolutely screw any chance of place shifting becoming common across devices. ipod or otherwise without freedom and ease of use (and nudge in quality) yeah, who would want mess with it indeed. Talk about strangling the goose before the first egg is out.
    The sad part is that Apple, MS and everyone else willing to roll belly up to get access to content is actually screwing themselves since the devices they will be able to bring market will never transparent or easy enough to move out the niche market, all thanks to DRM, protected output and quality degrades on content because they say so. Sad.