Industry

The TV Ecosystem’s Dirty Little Secret

As a newcomer to the TV space, my experience at IBC 2013 was refreshing - at first. It wasn't until I got up close and began asking questions that I discovered the TV ecosystem's dirty little secret. It's all fake. Hocus pocus. Smoke and mirrors.

As a newcomer to the TV space, my experience at IBC 2013 was refreshing – at first. Screen after beautiful screen filled with fluid animations and new UI designs. In fact, it appeared that the entire ecosystem was investing in user experiences – set top box builders, middleware, distribution platforms, and DRM companies (to name a few).

It wasn’t until I got up close and began asking questions that I discovered the TV ecosystem’s dirty little secret. It’s all fake. Hocus pocus. Smoke and mirrors.

HTML 5

It’s all fake. Hocus pocus. Smoke and mirrors.

The NDS Snowflake demo crashed right in front of me and rebooting revealed that it was powered by Unity engine. A classic vaporware trick. Watch the Snowfake demo running in Unity.

A handful of the demos I saw ran on expensive PCs behind the scenes. Wizard of Oz anyone?

And, a few were merely Adobe After Effects movies depicting future ‘possibilities’. The irony of course being that Adobe After Effects is the primary input for production UIs from You.i.

So, why all the gimmicks, secrecy and fakery? Because of HTML5. Operators are pushing hard for beautiful user experiences and vendors are taking the only path they know – HTML5. But of course they can’t show the real thing, because HTML5 was never intended for cross- platform performance. So they fake it. Sell a dream, and apologize later when the HTML5 implementation falls short of the demo.

So they fake it. Sell a dream, and apologize later.

At You.i, we think it’s time to end the charade, call out HTML5 for what it is (a poor fit for multiscreen performance) and show stunning user interfaces running production code on real industry hardware. Our Flip TV demo is production code, running on minimal set top box hardware and completely cross-platform.

Cable industry executives must be tired of the lies too, because they voted You.i ‘Best New Product’ at Cable Labs Summer Conference 2013.

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