The living room of the future will feature one big screen TV, one remote and one set-top box that will allow viewers to connect to the Internet, watch live TV and search for video and movies. And watching content will be as easy as snapping your fingers to turn the television on, or swiping the screen to access your favourite channel to watch sports in 3D without having to wear glasses.
This is the future of TV as envisioned by executives gathered at the Reuters Global Media Summit according to the newsagency.
Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman, said the changes could take more than five years to materialise, but there was broad consensus among executives that the experience of TV would grow richer and simpler for viewers.
Citing confusing remote controls as the most frequently mentioned problem with the current TV experience, Time Warner Inc chief executive, Jeffrey Bewkes, said people would not need to have a PhD in device management to use their media products.
Frederic Rose, CEO of French set-top box maker Technicolor, told Reuters: “Today it can often take a dozen clicks to find one news program,” he said. “There are too many boxes, too many remotes, and too much hardware.”
The problem is made worse by the need for several remote controls. “The typical remote control is not useful for playing video games. The video game controller is not useful for watching films. Neither of those is useful for search. They are dumb controllers,” said Bobby Kotick, chief executive of Activision Blizzard Inc, the video game company behind “Call of Duty.”
In order to allow consumers to watch shows, play games, write e-mails, video chat with friends, read the newspaper or shop online for groceries, all from one central TV screen, consumers would want a single remote control that would allow them to navigate across media. Consumers would also require their entertainment devices to offer plug-and-play capability without requiring constant calls to a helpdesk.
Anne Sweeney, chief of Walt Disney Co’s ABC, offered some clues as to what consumers expect down the road.
“I’ve seen more than one kid go up to the television set and try to move something, or I’ve seen them try to change the channel by swiping their hand,” she said at the Media Summit. “These behaviors are so quickly learned.”
Strauss Zelnick, chairman of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc predicted that the television itself would become “a very large-format flatscreen television in the living room that is almost like wallpaper” offering high quality and very high definition.