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May 24 at 8:09am

Is Google TV What Indies Have Been Waiting For?

By Ted Hope

Scott Macauley tipped me to NoFimSchool’s post on Google TV. It, along with all the excellent links in the comments there, have picked up my spirits. Now with a little SEO strategy, maybe everyone can get a bit closer to having their work seen. Maybe soon they can even make some money from that and pay off this expensive hobby we have!

If you prefer to get your news from a major source, here’s how the LATimes are covering it. It’s true that with all the myriad of options, we need better search tools. I just wish that people would offer more filters. It’s one thing to be able to find what we are looking for, but we still need to know what it is that we want — particularly if we want to make other work that that which is justified by a huge marketing spend.

I know I want a few trusted curators. Let me know if you know where I may find them.

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4 Comments

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  1. doublejnyc / May 24 at 8:09am

    Here's an article from Ad Age that gives Google TV a thumbs down…for what it's worth

    http://adage.com/digitalnext/article?article_id

  2. A Father and Son / May 24 at 8:09am

    This is why Net Neutrality is important. As long as the Internet is open for everyone to reach anything, then indie filmmakers have the distribution system to get their films seen. GOOGLE TV will have profound implications. So will BEST BUY (http://sn.im/whksj), WALMART (http://sn.im/wfx7z), and TARGET (http://sn.im/whkt8), as they are also bringing “TV ANYWHERE” to the masses. The confluence of our home television and our Internet experience is just around the corner (as in, before the end of this year).

    The implications of Net Neutrality are far greater than just a filmmaker trying to sell views of a horror film; it applies overall to America's promise of democracy. Free speech without distribution is not free speech. (I make this point because right now there is an ongoing legal battle between an oil company and a documentary producer to violate the common journalistic rights of the documentarian because he was hired to present the side of the oppressed consumers. The huge corporation is using that angle to create legal battles that can squash the message. Corporations will do that when they have control over citizen's access to content on the 'net.) We had relied on broadcasting for the distribution of free speech, but the takeover of media by corporate conglomerates has scuttled the democracy of broadcasting. Now, corporate conglomerates want to do the same thing to the Internet. This issue is extremely important to any discussion about filmmakers’ distribution on the Internet.

    Assuming Net Neutrality is the mandate, filmmakers face other issues. The cable companies want to create proprietary, access-controlled implementations of the Internet-to-TV paradigms, and they call it “TV EVERYWHERE.” But they want it structured so that they can restrict consumer access to movies and TV, leading to proprietary, closed systems that protect the cable conglomerates.

    I advocate for “TV ANYWHERE,” which would be the unrestricted completely open access to content as the infrastructure of broadband Internet increases. I make the point that access is not necessarily cost-free to the consumer; the TV ANYWHERE open paradigm would allow, for instance, a filmmaker to charge a fee equivalent to a cable company VOD fee of, say, $3.99–but it would all flow to the filmmaker as a free-market transaction.

    This problem would be similar to the issue of digital distribution to movie theater chains. Indie filmmakers expected the cost of theatrical distribution to tumble. However, theater chains imposed fees for digital distribution to recapture their investment in the conversion, and those fees brought digital distribution costs back up the realm of the old 35mm print distribution costs.

    GOOGLE TV, and other approaches, presumes Net Neutrality and even broadband access. Curiously, not everyone has broadband. But if one were to choose between the expense of cable and the expense of broadband, one then has to battle the problem that their broadband possibilities are offered through their cable company, which will be a challenge to the decision-making process: how do I get broadband Internet access so I can go with TV Anywhere and dump my cable TV plan, if that cable TV plan is the source of my broadband Internet access? How this conundrum evolves will be interesting to watch.

    CURATING will be an opportunity for someone. In the related concept of film criticism, there are two schools: true criticism, which is based on evaluating movies in relation to the study of the technique and culture of the art of filmmaking, and personal reviews, which are the expression of one's own emotional reaction to a film. True Criticism is faltering; many newspapers, which were the bastion for reviews, no longer have staff critics; True Critics are going the way of other journalists. On the other hand, the egalitarian Personal Reviewers are exploding, since they operate from the platform of unlimited access to creating a website and expressing an opinion.

    I hope some unemployed True Critics will be able to revive their standing and visibility by seizing the opportunity to curate for a following of consumers.

    BUT… consumers always adapt to the media choices presented to them. When radio was the dominant medium, people had to manually roll a tuning dial to find (and tweak for good reception) a channel that they wanted to listen to. Television showed up with manual tuning dials to choose from less than half-a-dozen channels. AND THERE WAS NO REMOTE! You had to get up out of your chair and change the channel. Then came the remote, which had only 2 buttons on it (change channel, turn on or off). Then came VHF, and that gave people a couple more channels through an add-on box (UHF wasn't mandated on TVs until the '70s). Then, cable. “500 channels.” Now it's part of the American lifestyle to sit on a couch and flip through every channel, giving TV shows no more than 2 seconds to “grab” you. Horrible for programmers! But, consumers adapted. Programmers had to make more effort to market themselves in order to get the tune-ins. Now, with TV ANYWHERE, we will be looking at an almost unlimited choice of channels. Consumers will adapt. They will adapt to it just as we adapted to searching the Internet for web pages…we made GOOGLE one of the most powerful companies in the world by adapting the “web search” into our lifestyles.

    So, with or without curation, consumers will adapt.

    Bring it on! It's ultimately now in the hands of those with good product and good marketing.

  3. A Father and Son / May 24 at 8:09am

    This is why Net Neutrality is important. As long as the Internet is open for everyone to reach anything, then indie filmmakers have the distribution system to get their films seen. GOOGLE TV will have profound implications. So will BEST BUY (http://sn.im/whksj), WALMART (http://sn.im/wfx7z), and TARGET (http://sn.im/whkt8), as they are also bringing “TV ANYWHERE” to the masses. The confluence of our home television and our Internet experience is just around the corner (as in, before the end of this year).

    The implications of Net Neutrality are far greater than just a filmmaker trying to sell views of a horror film; it applies overall to America's promise of democracy. Free speech without distribution is not free speech. (I make this point because right now there is an ongoing legal battle between an oil company and a documentary producer to violate the common journalistic rights of the documentarian because he was hired to present the side of the oppressed consumers. The huge corporation is using that angle to create legal battles that can squash the message. Corporations will do that when they have control over citizen's access to content on the 'net.) We had relied on broadcasting for the distribution of free speech, but the takeover of media by corporate conglomerates has scuttled the democracy of broadcasting. Now, corporate conglomerates want to do the same thing to the Internet. This issue is extremely important to any discussion about filmmakers’ distribution on the Internet.

    Assuming Net Neutrality is the mandate, filmmakers face other issues. The cable companies want to create proprietary, access-controlled implementations of the Internet-to-TV paradigms, and they call it “TV EVERYWHERE.” But they want it structured so that they can restrict consumer access to movies and TV, leading to proprietary, closed systems that protect the cable conglomerates.

    I advocate for “TV ANYWHERE,” which would be the unrestricted completely open access to content as the infrastructure of broadband Internet increases. I make the point that access is not necessarily cost-free to the consumer; the TV ANYWHERE open paradigm would allow, for instance, a filmmaker to charge a fee equivalent to a cable company VOD fee of, say, $3.99–but it would all flow to the filmmaker as a free-market transaction.

    This problem would be similar to the issue of digital distribution to movie theater chains. Indie filmmakers expected the cost of theatrical distribution to tumble. However, theater chains imposed fees for digital distribution to recapture their investment in the conversion, and those fees brought digital distribution costs back up the realm of the old 35mm print distribution costs.

    GOOGLE TV, and other approaches, presumes Net Neutrality and even broadband access. Curiously, not everyone has broadband. But if one were to choose between the expense of cable and the expense of broadband, one then has to battle the problem that their broadband possibilities are offered through their cable company, which will be a challenge to the decision-making process: how do I get broadband Internet access so I can go with TV Anywhere and dump my cable TV plan, if that cable TV plan is the source of my broadband Internet access? How this conundrum evolves will be interesting to watch.

    CURATING will be an opportunity for someone. In the related concept of film criticism, there are two schools: true criticism, which is based on evaluating movies in relation to the study of the technique and culture of the art of filmmaking, and personal reviews, which are the expression of one's own emotional reaction to a film. True Criticism is faltering; many newspapers, which were the bastion for reviews, no longer have staff critics; True Critics are going the way of other journalists. On the other hand, the egalitarian Personal Reviewers are exploding, since they operate from the platform of unlimited access to creating a website and expressing an opinion.

    I hope some unemployed True Critics will be able to revive their standing and visibility by seizing the opportunity to curate for a following of consumers.

    BUT… consumers always adapt to the media choices presented to them. When radio was the dominant medium, people had to manually roll a tuning dial to find (and tweak for good reception) a channel that they wanted to listen to. Television showed up with manual tuning dials to choose from less than half-a-dozen channels. AND THERE WAS NO REMOTE! You had to get up out of your chair and change the channel. Then came the remote, which had only 2 buttons on it (change channel, turn on or off). Then came VHF, and that gave people a couple more channels through an add-on box (UHF wasn't mandated on TVs until the '70s). Then, cable. “500 channels.” Now it's part of the American lifestyle to sit on a couch and flip through every channel, giving TV shows no more than 2 seconds to “grab” you. Horrible for programmers! But, consumers adapted. Programmers had to make more effort to market themselves in order to get the tune-ins. Now, with TV ANYWHERE, we will be looking at an almost unlimited choice of channels. Consumers will adapt. They will adapt to it just as we adapted to searching the Internet for web pages…we made GOOGLE one of the most powerful companies in the world by adapting the “web search” into our lifestyles.

    So, with or without curation, consumers will adapt.

    Bring it on! It's ultimately now in the hands of those with good product and good marketing.

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