The next big thing is Internet TV, but what does that mean?

The potential impact of Internet  has grown stronger over the last year. But what does Internet TV even mean? And TV 2.0 certainly isn’t any clearer. Even the word television is difficult. What do people mean when they say television? Are they referring to the huge screen in their living rooms or the shows offered by networks?

Television signifies both dimensions: device and content. Likewise, Internet TV carries forward both definitions.

   * Internet TV is a display device that connects to the net either directly via built-in components or indirectly via an intermediate set-top box, e.g., Apple TV, Google TV.
   * Internet TV are traditional TV shows supplemented with on-demand viewing and access to the broad range of Internet resources.

Without a doubt access to the Internet via TV sets is already here. Even in Buenos Aires, where new tech gadgets are not easily purchased due to high tariffs and import restrictions, electronic retailers are selling TV sets with WiFi.

Internet TV is not so much about hardware. The access & content-based definitions will have the greatest impact. I’ll extend that definition:

   * Internet TV disrupts traditional network programming with new content channels based on apps.

That disruption phase will not be fulfilled completely in 2012, but it’s coming. Is that hype or is the genie out of the bottle? The prediction has been cast every year for a long time now. But in this decade TV and cable networks will face tumultuous challenges similar to those shaking the publishing, newspaper, and music industries.

Internet TV is the next big thing and an entirely new breed of companies will emerge offering services and content for what is the most dominant screen in almost every home. The topic intrigues me and most of my blogging efforts here this year will be tracking and analyzing the shifting reality of television.

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