My Mobile Phone Just Ate My Cable Remote and I Couldn’t Be Happier
I started connecting my laptop computer to my TV about five years ago to watch programs such as China’s CCTV Spring Festival Gala and other international content that is not available on US cable. Although hooking up the laptop to my HDTV was relatively easy, the process did not lend itself to casually checking out Internet content from the comfort of my couch.
Also, like many people, my YouTube addiction has increased dramatically with the advent of mobile technology that makes watching YouTube on-the-go a snap. If only I could easily watch YouTube on my TV! Well, the TV revolution has finally arrived, and your mobile phone is an important part of that.
This past holiday season, consumer electronics shelves were stocked full of devices that allow the next generation of connected HDTVs and Blu-ray DVD players to access a range of Internet content – such as Netflix, Amazon On-Demand, YouTube, Pandora, hulu – as well as facilitate photo sharing over your local Wi-Fi network and access social networking services. In short, our TVs are getting smarter. If you’re still stuck with a “dumb” TV, there are some really great options for upgrading your viewing experience.
Doing the smart TV upgrade
A recent post on StreamingMedia.com offers a nice overview of some top TV upgrade options, including Apple TV, Roku and the Sony Netbox, all of which retail for around $100. There are other options as well, including Android-powered Google TV products from Sony and Logitec, and the soon-to-be-released LG Smart TV Upgrader.
Pretty much all of these devices have one very cool and useful thing in common: they can be controlled by your Smartphone via a mobile application. Smartphone integration is becoming a key part of the TV viewing experience. Besides the convenience of never having to hunt for the remote (because it’s in your pocket), there are hosts of other ways to use your Smartphone to manage TV viewing time. Using a Smartphone or tablet also makes searching for content much easier than using a regular remote, because you can type your searches using the device’s keypad.
Netflix is a great example. It offers apps for iPhone and iPad that make it really easy to add videos to your video-on-demand Instant Queue. When you’re ready for some quality viewing time, you no longer need to spend half of that deciding what to watch. Services like Netflix also make switching devices midway through a movie relatively seamless because Netflix remembers where you left off. Integration with services like hulu and YouTube that also live on mobile lets viewers create playlists or favorites, so they can select content rapidly while on the go and then shift their actual viewing of their favorite videos to couch time if they like. Some smart TV services even support some of the sharing features of the top social networks (you can expect to see a lot more social media integration with the support of third party apps in future upgrades and new models). Consequently, future social media campaigns will need to factor in couch potatoes, in addition to mobile and desktop Internet users.Continued on the next page