My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Google TV and DSO: An example of how a set top box can help TVJ and CVM Achieve DSO

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Google TV and DSO: An example of how a set top box can help TVJ and CVM Achieve DSO

The recent reports from the fascinating TechWorld in the United States of America is always exciting, as with each new development, it can be see as a signpost for the future as it relates to DSO (Digital Switch Over) in Jamaica as stated in the article “Slow road to digital switch-over - Cable groups mum; Flow ahead but network coverage behind”, published Saturday August 15, 2009 by Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer.

I had first pointed out the coming of a 3-D HDTV as stated in the article “Samsung, Panasonic start selling 3-D TV's this week”, published Tue March 9 2010, 11:04 am ET, By PETER SVENSSON, AP Technology Write, Yahoo! News (AP) and the possible coming of Skype enable HDTV.

This was announced earlier as stated in the article “Skype on TV: Will the videophone finally be reality?” published March 2, 2010 4:00 AM PST by Erica Ogg CNET News - Circuit Breaker, a foreboding of the coming of a videophone.

Now we have a new wonder that being of Google apparently wanting to take advantage of the trend of HDTV’s being used as computer screens, has partnered with component makers Intel, possibly for the chipset and Sony for the set top box hardware to make an open Platform television set, effectively a Google TV.

Amazingly, no one has made anything more of this news, but what impresses me is the fact that this next iteration of a set top box that should work with the above 3-D HDTV and Skype enabled HDTV’s will be running Android

This has me a bit perturbed as I am already scared about the kind of information that Google has stored on people on their Servers in Silicon Valley! This is the other news aside from the Apple iPad that already has me giddy, as this is exactly what Telecom Providers Digicel, LIME or CLARO needs to launch a video calling service.

Confused? Let’s take a walk down memory lane………..

Back in 2007 computer maker Apple attempted to bring the magic of their Apple iPod device into the living room with the introduction of the Apple TV in, effectively a Internet Television Set Top Box that could connect to any plasma or LCD display at the time and deliver streaming content over the internet from music to movies as stated in the article “Apple invades the living room”, published Saturday March 31 2007, 3:24 AM ET By Antony Bruno Yahoo! News.

This device as everyone knows was completely hacked, as Apple made it glaringly easy to hack owing to the fact that it was so easy to modify the device to do other tasks. Apple never revisited this device but the idea of a set top box that was designed to record or make content searchable has had numerous reincarnations such as in the gaming console PlayStation 3 (PS3) and later the hugely successful set top box TiVo.

Now after that brief trip down memory lane, apparently Google now sees it as its turn to take a stab at developing this device. Amazingly, Samsung has caught on to the idea of using Google Android as the OS on their TV as stated in the article “Report: Samsung interested in Android-based TVs”, published April 27, 2010 11:20 AM PDT by Erica Ogg, CNET News - Circuit Breaker.

Being the largest seller of HDTV’s does help Google, as it means that their reach is extended into the living room, where people have already begun to use their HDTV as computer screens while surfing the internet. And at this point one should see the connection to the RJR communications Group and the CVM Communications Group.

Since it is now well known that most young people (target demographic 14-18 and 18-30 years old) are most likely to use television set as computer screens and older people (target demographic 30-65 years old) are most like to invest in such big ticket items as a Television set.

The option to also have either a 3-D HDTV with Skype pre-loaded and a set top box running Google Android bundle or a brand name 3-D HDTV with Skype pre-loaded with Google Android (no set top box) would be an investment too hard to pass up

After recovering from the initial sticker shock, as the typical 3-D HDTV will set you back about US$3000 as suggested in “3D TV Is Here, but Is It Ready for Prime Time” taken from the Associated Press the adult would consider that having this device in the home would be the perfect distraction for the children during the Summer of 2010!

Not to mention great for watching the Word Cup, especially if the customer has access to ESPN from FLOW and could watch the 3-D channel that will be Broadcasting the games.

Never mind the dorky headache inducing glasses, here is the clincher: the set top box is running Google Android, so as Google is more than eager to get its product to sell.

It would be a good for business to basically modify the hardware to accept both HDTV signals directly and broadband via either a RJ-45 jack connected to a ADSL or Cable modem or a built in Wireless modem for either 3G from LIME or CLARO or WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) from Digicel, effectively a Universal Receiver Box.

Thus the RJR Communications Group and CVM Communications Group would have the option to piggyback their HDTV signals on the Telecoms Providers Network of choice and have the set top box decode the HDTV signal carried in the Wireless broadband signal and down convert it to be able to show on a regular NTSC Standard Television.

It could also rebroadcast the Radio stations in their original frequencies for a distance up to 100 feet, thus making it unnecessary for Television and Radio set owners to have to change their devices.

By now everyone must have seen the wonder that is 3-D television on Smile Jamaica broadcast on the April 5th 2010, been aware of the power of Skype to communicate over long distances for pennies as alluded to in the article “Skype on TV: Will the videophone finally be reality?”, published March 2, 2010 4:00 AM PST by Erica Ogg CNET News - Circuit.

YouTube and it availability of content on demand as stated in the article “Time Warner, YouTube ink distribution pact” published August 19, 2009 12:34 PM PDT by Larry Dignan CNET News - Digital Media is also a competitor.

These are all the necessary element of a more interactive Broadcast in terms of Radio and Television under DSO, which promises all this and more in an experience that is both immersive and entertaining. The bugs left to figure out are Microsoft’s Project Natal as posted as E3 2009 Project Natal Milo demo on YouTube, downloaded Friday April 7th 2010 (my first YouTube reference!!!).

That should allow the user the ability to interact with the computer using their own natural body movement, Augmented Reality that allows real-time information based on geo-location as stated in the article “Augmented Reality Goes mobile”, published November 3, 2009, 12:44AM EST by Rachael King, BusinessWeek - AUGMENTED REALITY

The use of Behavioral Targeted Marketing a means of allowing users to choose what advertisers advertise to them based on their Social Networking preferences as stated in the article “Study: Like it or not, behavioral ad targeting works”, published March 24, 2010 9:01 AM PDT by Caroline McCarthy, CNET News – The Social

Facial Recognition to enable easier identification both for Social Networking and security purposes as suggested in the article “ opens its face recognition tech to devs”, published May 3, 2010 10:00 AM PDT, by Josh Lowensohn, CNET News.

Combined with VAS (Value Added Services) such as:

1.      Paid-Per-View Programming
2.      Online Voting for scientific statistic polls
3.      Election Voting for Government of Jamaica
4.      Personalized Targeted Advertising
5.      Geo-Location Services and Personal Tracking Services
6.      Augmented Viewing Services
7.      Phone Directory Services
8.      Market Surveys
9.      Channel slots for other Broadcasters among other service offerings

Broadcasters’ problems are solved!

Thus if this development of a Google TV or even better Samsung and other 3-D HDTV makers begin supporting Android holds, it will create a new class of device that would allow people to watch what would basically be Internet Television on an Open source Set Top Box or Television modified by the Telecoms Provider in order to have a Broadcaster broadcast their content.

Best of all, it would be customizable to receive signals from both Broadcasters as well as from even Cable TV providers, making it possible for them to deliver HDTV content without having to resort to building out towers or rerunning new Cable lines

Simply having the Google Android SDK revamped and reprogrammed in the set top box or HDTV television to accommodate features that would allow not only watching Television in High Definition 3-D

Provision for other services such as reselling Wireless Broadband Internet Service from Telecoms Providers, such as Digicel’s WiMaX 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) or CLARO or LIME’s 3G much as Time Warner Cable. This as is alluded in the article Time Warner Cable to resell WiMaX Service”, published July 30, 2009 11:55 AM PDT, by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Wireless.

Thus with Wireless Internet acting as the carrier for the HDTV broadcast offerings, Broadcasters would also be able to introduce VAS (Value Added Services) that make their Radio and Broadcasting services more web-like as stated in the article “Cable TV: Pushing to Become More Web-like”, published April 16, 2009, 5:00PM EST  By Tom Lowry, BusinessWeek – Strategies. VAS services such as:

1.      VOIP (Voice over IP), Data Backup and File Transfer Services using Digicel’s DataCenter as stated in the article “Digicel diversifies - $500m data centre opens November”, published: Friday August 28, 2009 by Mark Titus, The Jamaica Gleaner.
2.      Video Calling, most likely using Skype with the Telecoms Providers acting as a “dumb pipe” as alluded to in the article “Skype on TV: Will the videophone finally be reality?”, published March 2, 2010 4:00 AM PST by Erica Ogg CNET News- Circuit Breaker.
3.      Instant Messaging via Television, Interactive Television Programming as suggested in the article “Cable TV: Pushing to Become More Web-like”, published by April 16, 2009, 5:00PM EST by Tom Lowry, BusinessWeek Strategies.

Even more possible is the provisioning of Web TV, which is cheaper and requires only that the user have a modem and subscribe to the service, allowing password and login access to a Web TV site that allows for the customer or subscriber to watch TV shows on demand.

As is the case with Hulu or the deal inked by Time Warner and Google’s Youtube as stated in the article “Time Warner, YouTube ink distribution pact” published August 19, 2009 12:34 PM PDT by Larry Dignan CNET News - Digital Media.

The Government of Jamaica via the Broadcast Commission can also implement a Radio and Television Tax to subsidize the cost of the receiver box and thus get Jamaicans to register their ownership of their television sets, critical to the provision of the above VAS services.

Similar to those that can be offered by a Telecoms Provider under Senator Dwight Nelson, Minister of National Security and Justice Initiative known as MRSI (Mandatory Registration of Subscriber Information) as stated in the article “CLARO Backs Cell Phone Tracking Plan; Digicel, LIME in Wait-And-See Mode”, published Sunday May 16, 2010 by Mark Titus, Business Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.

There is also the soon-to-be-implemented MNP (Mobile Number Portability) as alluded to in the article “OUR signals policy shift on portability - Says Jamaica running out of phone numbers”, published Friday November 20, 2009 by Mark Titus, Business Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.

This is now very necessary and slated to be on stream in June 2010 as stated in the article “Paulwell calls for number portability”, published, Wednesday April 21, 2010, Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter, The Jamaica Gleaner.

Broadcasters standing to benefit the most from the sale of spectrum and “white spaces” to Telecoms Providers as stated in the article “TV white space networks tested” published February 24, 2010 4:06 PM PST by Marguerite Reardon, CNET News - Signal Strength.

Broadcasters stand to not only be able to cheaply go HDTV but also make money in the process via the offering of VAS as well as Radio and Television Taxes, much as it is now the case in the United Kingdom.


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