HDBeat has a post out on Sony’s latest foray into the HDTV camcorder world, the Sony HDR-HC3. “Now smaller than ever, the Sony HDR-HC3 is geared towards the consumer. It is 26% smaller than the predecessor and cheaper with an MSRP of $1700.” This is super exciting and great technology and I may just have to buy one of these — but the bigger question it poses for me is how do we get all of this new user generated HD content to our televisions?
While Hollywood is bumbling all over themselves with their latest DRM efforts and alienating more and more of their customers, there is at the same time an undeniable and insatiable appetite for more and more HD content. While the pros don’t want you to have their content without promising them your first born child, many amateurs are perfectly happy to share their work with you. For many amateurs they are not making any money on their stuff yet and oftentimes they are more interested in self promotion than anything else. Google Video, iTube, etc. point to this growing trend.
So three questions remain. 1. How do you get all this great new amateur content to your living room TV. 2. How do you finance the bandwidth cost of getting all this great new HDTV content to your living room? 3. How do you organize and find the best HD online content on the internet.
Answer number 1. is pretty simple. TiVo and MCE both represent fantastic paths to the living room. Both are already experimenting with delivering broadband content. TiVo’s HME now allows you to get Rocket Boom on your TiVo for instance and MCE has been steadily growing the content available through their Online Spotlight.
The problem with both of these models though is that they are largely closed models for independent publishers. What is needed is instead the ability to build a platform that is open to all publishers. The question becomes how do you get iTube integrated better into TiVo and MCE (and not just through RSS). Someone needs to build the definitive plug in for microcontent video. Will TiVo and Microsoft break down the walled garden and let this unchecked and toll free content into your living room?
Answer #2 is also pretty simple. At present you use bitorrent to get the bandwidth intensive content into the living room. While the DSL and cable providers probably don’t want to hear this, it’s the most sensible economical way to get this content into your living room. The bitorrent path needs to be built into the plug in to allow people easy access to this material. Hollywood is not using bitorrent today because they are obsessed with control over their material. When material is already licensed creative commons or copyright restrictions are not in play bitorrent will work just fine.
Answer #3 is where the biggest opportunity is to be had. The next step would be to create a Digg for video. The site could be filtered by HD or non HD content. As the site would be a popularity contest, porn would undoubtedly lead the charge (see comment from Jeremiah in link) — but other categories would still benefit. A related editor driven site would be created which would highlight the best video across categories.
Consumers want to make HD content. Consumers want to consume HD content. Who will make the delivery of long tail HD a reality?