This week PCWorld’s Commercial Director Peter Gallogly and I joined Bobby Kerr to talk about what’s happening at the retail, or consumer end of technology. IFA, originally titled ‘The Berlin Radio Show’, one of the world’s biggest technology trade shows was held earlier this month and it’s hard not to struck, not so much by impressive new products from Nokia and Sony, or even by Samsung’s Galaxy Gear Smart Watch, but by the focus at IFA on television.
Television made it’s first appearance at Berlin’s IFA Exhibition in 1931, but over the last few years we’ve seen a trend towards convergence that moved programs we once watched on traditional televisions on to our smartphones, tablets and PCs. The trend at this years IFA with focus on TV and the huge curved screens and Ultra HD 4K televisions illustrate that we may well have tried the mobile video experience, but I’m not sure we like it. Small screens are fine for a snippet – we’re happy watching a premiership goal, or a raw video from the news headlines, but ‘event-TV’ needs a big screen, and that big screen will soon be an Ultra HD screen or a super HD home theatre with 3D, a screen that will seamlessly allow us to watch an hour of Breaking Bad and then slick straight over to browse the web or pick up where stopped playing a game – all on our new really smart TV.
At the heart of the resurgence in television makers lies the fact that television programmes are just so good now; from Homeland to Mad Men, the best actors, directors and writers are all making TV, rather than films. Live interactive TV like X-Factor lend themselves to communal home viewing. Add a sluggish economy to the mix, with people staying home more and you see the scene is set for more TV – and more of us watching TV together.
Program makers are making better TV – so TV makers are going to make us something better to watch them on.