Tuesday, December 6, 2011

When new isn't that new and smart isn't that smart

TVB, the largest television broadcaster in HK has been serving the Chinese community in Europe for many years. Originally it was only available in the UK under satellite subscription. Which means that it wasn't something that everybody could get. To get it, you need a Sky satellite dish. This means you have pay for services you don't use before you pay extra for TVB Europe. Some people live in places where you can't possibly get decent reception. This is hardly ideal and it seems they've not tried to tap into this market via cable. Perhaps cable might not be the best way of delivery. Virgin Media have no shortage of reliability issues. Sky, who's parent company News International, is currently mired in plenty of controversy. Do you want to part your hard earned cash and give it to an ethically shortsighted company? 

 TVB Europe in recent years have launched a new delivery platform. This is via the the Internet. This ought to be a no brainer, but whilst it sounds good, it is not. You need a high bandwidth Internet connection and then connect via special box which you connect to your tv. However, in this day and age where we're trying lose as many wires and boxes, this concept is not smart. 

 It would have been better to manage subscriptions and deliver content via platforms such as BBC's iPlayer or YouTube. This is what people want to use and it can easily be piped to the TV. I'm sure a powerful broadcaster like TVB can deliver in such a manner. After all RTHK can, and their material is free to all, even to users based overseas. Even going as far as providing an iPhone app free to all. 

It all comes down to short term financial gains. The BBC can definitely make iPlayer profitable by making this service available to users outside the UK. And it would be worth every penny. The content on TVB Europe is very limited. If I'm paying, I want what is available in HK. I want live news reports. It's not too much to ask. People often think everything in HK is smart. Not so.

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