The very reason that internet TV has become a runaway success – the availability of on-demand content at anytime, could also be the thing that is holding it back, as because of that feature there has been no implementation of any recording function in Smart TV’s and set-top boxes (STB’s).
The problem with on-demand content is that many streaming services, such as catch-up TV websites, have content that will be gone in 7, 10 or 30 days. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon also all have content that is only available for a finite time. As content deals expire, the very show or movie that you want to see has gone up in a million bytes of dust.
Smart TVs and internet streaming services were supposed to drag viewers away from broadcast television, Cable and satellite companies were fearing a flurry of cord cutters heading to the web. But that scenario has not happened to the extent many had predicted.
Set-top boxes such as TiVo, satellite and cable STB’s all have elements of on-demand web based content, but they only let viewers record standard broadcast programming.
An interesting article in the Guardian explores this very subject and points to a recent Thinkbox study showing that 90% of all viewing is still live broadcast TV. That is followed by the next most desired features of, live pausing and recording.
It seems that the STB is winning out over Smart TV because although it has the same lack of any recording function for it’s streaming services, it integrates the web better, and also carries live TV along with those all important DVR features that viewers love.
The Smart TV has had a pretty poor take up so far, and will remain a mere novelty until we see a redesign of the TV program guide that integrates intenet TV so it looks as natural as another channel, rather than a bolted on afterthought hidden in a seperate menu.
Of course if it becomes part of the program guide, then it will need a record and pause function as well.