About the consumption of TV content by those who understand something

I write a lot about the television industry from a professional point of view. Recently, among the tasks, there are more and more topics about content and its consumption patterns. And in almost every article, certain specialists speak about the total mass of subscribers to any service, just like what they prefer to watch. Based on these data, forecasts of the popularity of services are built, business models and interfaces are developed. But the humor of the situation is that I have never heard about the consumption model, at least somewhat close to mine.

Of course, I can hardly attribute myself to the majority. Behind me, a 3D printer assembled on maternity leave buzzes behind my back (it became boring). But at the same time, in terms of all statistical parameters, I belong to the solvent population, the most interesting creators of various services and advertisers. Give me a service that meets at least the existing needs (I’m silent about the prediction of my desires), and I will pay for it. But instead, the market offers me to pay for services created on the basis of a joint statistical analysis of content consumption by grannies, housewives and those who are just getting used to non-linear viewing. Not that!

Similar to thinking is a place in a professional publication, such as the TeleSatellite. But there it is also necessary to prove that my consumption model is somewhat popular. I do not want to do this (especially since I really am not sure that the masses can follow my example). I will simply leave my thoughts here in the hope that the creator of the next OTT service or TV device will stumble upon them and probably take it into account in some way in the roadmap of his project ... or just take note.

And viewers who are tired of the monotony of TV broadcast, I propose to draw a few ideas to improve their “television” evenings.

Welcome under cat.

* Originally post by mistake published on Habré, but readers are advised to move.

Where is the TV?

Iron-soft section

The story of watching TV content will begin, perhaps, with the fact that we do not have a TV set (in the usual sense of this term). The panel on the wall is connected as a single monitor to a system collector specially assembled for this case.

How did it happen?

About 5 years ago, TV collected dust from us, despite the fact that we watched mostly downloaded movies and TV shows on a laptop with a small screen - and all because the TV set did not normally connect to this laptop.

At some point, the question was what to do.

Smart TV? Never!

First of all, then I got sick of the idea of ​​buying a Smart TV - judging by the producers' advertisements, this already then had to be a computer and a TV in one bottle. It so happened that it was at that moment that my parents got the “smart” TV (by the way, one of the latest models) - and I had a chance to play with it before a hypothetical purchase. My verdict: not at all!

Why? Software too slow, interface too curved. To get to YouTube, you need about 10 minutes - then you’ll have to enter a search request from the console ... To just launch a cartoon from a connected hard drive - 5 minutes (during this time, a smart three-year-old will already forget what he wanted to do, run away and blow the kitchen floor) .

Where are the updates promised by the manufacturer? Why applications from the official store run through time? Why would a Skype camera on a TV cost such space money? Why do you need to buy a separate piece of hardware to connect via WiFi for, again, space money (ask the Chinese how much the bare module on the board costs ...)?

That bad experience showed that Smart TV available manufacturers with all its functionality in the first place - the TV. Both the console and the interface are sharpened to watch linear channels more often. By the way, the main users of that TV are happy as boas - they now have favorite programs and movies from the hard disk in one bottle. And we needed, first of all, a computer, since the consumption of content is nonlinear in principle.
The built-in power of Smart TV over the past years has obviously grown, but the general idea of ​​building the interface remains the same: by default, the TV is loaded; remote control with channel buttons under the thumb, etc. While the ice in this direction does not break, I will not even look in the direction of Smart TV ...

Important thought 1. To sell me a TV technician or service to me (or someone like me), remove it from there altogether - or push it to the farthest corner of the interface - watch regular linear television. When selling non-linear functions, focus on the main thing - on the non-linear functions themselves.

Prefix v sistemnik

Classic TV set - a thing in itself. Indeed, an ordinary user does not like to connect additional devices to the TV. If this topic is discussed by experts, then there are usually ranting about extra wires, just made repairs, etc. And now we get the conclusion that consoles are not for sale, because they are prefixes.

But I will say that consoles (among me) are not for sale, because they are not computers!

How do I see the console as a potential user? This is a black box from an incomprehensible manufacturer with incomprehensible resources (will there be enough of them for a movie in HD 60 frames per second — exactly this one?). Non-extensible, not upgradeable ... just a black box that supports certain standards now. Hypothetically, I am also ready to pay 10 and 20 thousand rubles for the “head unit”. But, sorry, the technique goes forward. Here HD has not yet mastered everything, and already 4K is on the threshold. New coding standards and all that ... I’m invited to throw out the entire console and buy a new one when I want something new (with the built-in hard drive ...)? I do not see evidence that my considerable expenses will not be a very short-term investment.

The answer to this doubt is one: in the garden are your set-top boxes. Either at once the game with the motion controller (XBox with kinektom or analogues from other manufacturers), or an independent sistemnik. They have more resources, they are expandable and upgradeable. There you can do a lot of different interesting things with software (TV consoles with Android are more interesting from the software point of view than the general mass, but the remark about upgradeability does not go away from this).

Game consoles are fundamentally better than television because they are developed by large corporations. So, I, as a user, have a guarantee of updates, new software, etc. Again, the motion controller ... Honestly, at the selection stage, this factor almost became decisive towards the game console. But the “content” component pumped up. At that time, the most popular sources were YouTube and Vkontakte, and with them it is easier on a regular desktop system. Plus, in a quick search, I could not find a game for a motion controller that would hook me. And then they wanted to start video surveillance in the apartment - and the computer as a “TV set-top box” looked more promising.

Important Thought 2: I will not buy a set-top box in its current form. And it's not about the price. The fact is that my requirements for functionality are quite high (store video, receive information about it from the Internet, store stopping viewpoints, etc.), but the devices are relatively small (compared to some Microsoft or Google) manufacturer, from my point of view, have unclear prospects for development. And I agree to pay only if the costs close the question for 5-7 years completely (taking into account possible updates of standards and formats) ... or the purchased set can be at least partially used when updating.


Sistemnik assembled on the principle of minimum noise and possible future use of at least some parts in the next version of the “head unit” (at least the case, the power supply unit and the hard disk):

With television tasks (telly - 720p; video - 720p and 1080p) on-board video. Additionally connected sound 5.1 ("dowry" husband), a webcam for Skype. The sound, by the way, goes through onboard zvukovuhu. And I ask you here not to throw a certain substance on a fan, the quality of modern on-board sound engineer is more than enough to watch stupid children's cartoons - I won't say a word about HiEnd here (I have a suspicion that this is also obviously better than sound that can make TV the prefix, if it has such a function at all).

The key point is soft

Frankly, the computer is also not designed for comfortable viewing of content. He is also uncomfortable. Keyboard and mouse on the dining table - uncomfortable; I can type a line in a browser from a comfortable viewing distance in a family unless I have my own super-vision. So, the experts are right: few will poke with dissimilar software players, playlists, etc., so there’s no need to make a separate application for your OTT service under the computer - it’s enough that it will be available in the browser. However, these same specialists often overlook that keeping the zoo of players and playlists is not required. You just need to install a suitable interface that emulates Smart TV, but with the best of it (and not frozen by the manufacturer because of the desire to save).

In my case, this software was Kodi. I will not describe the pros and cons (for this, the network is full of reviews). For me it was important that:

Kodi appeared already strongly after the assembly of the system unit. In general, it is on consoles, but not at all. Perhaps this would be an argument in favor of buying one of them. Although the upgrade is still none of the manufacturers are not particularly thinking.

Kodi is not really a panacea either. Despite the updates, some problems have not yet been resolved. For example, I can’t manage my voice, but I wanted to. Here the whole complex of glitches interferes, the main of which is not tied to Kodi at all. Info about the content (including the name for the search), he gets from the Internet through plugins. In Russian, you can get data only from Kinopoisk - and those have some kind of crooked system for dealing with bots and aggregators. As a result, I didn’t manage to pass the entire content base through the plugin (after 1 updated movie, the plugin gets a day's bounce). But the information is perfectly loaded with IMDB package in English. Russian-English - technically no difference. But voice search video in Kodi can be done through the program for the smartphone, which in turn uses the Google API. And this API works automatically for the language, which is the default on the smartphone. Set Russian - FIG you, not the English-language search (ie, search for English-language names).

Another question is a plugin for YouTube. He is, works, but uncomfortable. This is exactly the case when the interface is knocked out of the general concept ... and how not to motivate yourself, anyway, after a week you watch the videos again in the browser.

Also, Kodi is not intended for audio books, sometimes you really want to put a fairy tale to your child in audio, without a visual series. It would be great if out of the box he worked with long audio files as if they were films - he would memorize the place to stop, collect “what is being heard now” on a separate page.

Kodi is a cross-platform thing. But it is with us that Winda is installed - she still lives only because of the weekly Skype connection with her grandmother from another city. Skype’s video linking with the cameras' zoo during Ubuntu tests didn’t go very well. Perhaps this problem has already been solved, but I don’t know ... But I’ll be picking around if we install an IP camera with a review control from a smartphone - there was such a distant plan.

Useful features

In addition to directly viewing the content, Kodi implements several useful features from the category “I want with pearl buttons”.

Firstly, it shows the exact time synchronized via the Internet on a TV set. On all household appliances, watches are regularly reset when a light is cut out again in a new area. Here, the clock is always accurate.

A regular weather plugin is used, which in our case shows data from the nearest weather station (and a forecast for some time in advance). In a situation where the facade of the house heats up in sunny weather at +20 degrees relative to the environment, and all the windows face only the sunny side, this is much more accurate than a home thermometer. The weather screen turns on in 3 mouse clicks from any corner of the interface.

As a screen saver, again, the plugin connects a selection of photos. Before the birth of children, we traveled a lot, so there are gigabytes of beautiful pictures in the storerooms. In the pauses between watching a slideshow is launched, on which children stick even better than on some cartoons. Again, the cognitive element: “Mom, what's this? Where's dad? Is it a sea? ”...

Kodi supports UPnP, so if you have the right software on your smartphone, I not only can launch the next cartoon from the other room, but at the same time (!) Watch a series of content not for kids on the smartphone (strangely enough, there are enough resources for this not heavy about 1080p).

Instead of a resume on software and hardware

It is possible that my kit, which forms the “head unit,” is shamelessly outdated. But this also has a sacred meaning: users in general and I in particular are conservative by their very nature. I will not chase the latest technology, just because a new standard has been released (say, 4K). Considering all sorts of family circumstances, I’m going to update the panel to 1920 * 1080 already, 3 I’m going to do it, and I won’t be able to do anything (now - 720 on the short side). For novelties, usually only a small part of the audience is chasing - people of a certain warehouse of interests. Those. sell me something “because it supports this last feature, without which you just can’t live” - it’s not a ride.

However, when I begin to choose an update for my technology, I will look at what appeared on the market at all from my last look in that direction ... and think about which of the new functions I need. Those. it is necessary to declare functions. And, important - go ahead.

How do I sell a subscription to the service

Content and Business Models Section

We do not watch TV, but on the other hand we watch a lot. Paradox? Not really.
The presence of a convenient interface, relatively speaking, right on the TV, without any laptops there on the floor of the dining table and the ability to control it from one small console (mouse) completely changed our content consumption. And there is no way back. We have previously preferred video on demand, but now there is simply no other form of consumption.

Why is there no favorite TV channel?

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Source: https://habr.com/ru/post/405731/

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