When it comes to defining "TV 2.0," it's all about the 4 As: any content, watched anytime, anywhere on any device. In other words: give the people what they want.
"We need to be on front edge of where consumer behavior is," said Shawn Strickland, vice president of consumer strategy & planning at Verizon Telecom, at the Multichannel News/B&C OnScreen Media Summit here Oct. 28. "Consumer awareness and consumer need has taken over the marketplace."
And being ahead of the technology curve is important even though adoption on a mainstream level may still be lagging. "To me, TV 2.0 is about evolution," said Alan Young, CTO of SES World Skies. "The existing TV service that people enjoy today is not going to go away, it still represents the vast, vast majority of content companies' revenue stream today." But it's not about what people are paying for today, it's about the fact that people paying for it tomorrow will want more, he added.
That includes taking the best features of the Internet and applying it to TV. "One of the things the Web does well is personalization and search and navigation," said Don Dulchinos, senior vice president of advertising and interactive services at CableLabs.
Improved search functionality becomes important not for someone tuning into Fox's Glee at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, but for viewers looking to discover new programs, where the sheer number of programming choices make the guide or remote inadequate.
"When you marry Web technology with classical features of TV, there are more ways for me, as an end-user, to discover what I want to watch," said Aseem Bakshi, vice president of product management at SeaChange International. "It is then that you start to significantly differentiate the experience being delivered to the end-user."
But even as consumer behavior changes to embrace TV 2.0 and content begins to chase that, as usual, the revenue model has been slower to develop.
From a technology standpoint, it's very easy to do, "it's the regulatory and business sides that will take time," said Pragash Pillai, senior vice president, engineering and technology, at Bresnan Communications.