A few years ago Bill Gates peddled the idea of Convergence. It was the new mantra then that became a buzzword for the Internet Industry. Of course that promised marriage between the Television and the PC/Internet didn’t quite materialize.
Microsoft lost millions in their MSN TV initiative. That was then, now the tide seems to be finally turning. While people may not have taken to the idea of surfing the Internet on their TV screens, they seem to be ready for their PC screens turning into televisions.
Technically you could watch TV shows on any computer with a built in TV/Tuner card since a few years ago. What is now driving the rapid acceptance of the TV and computer coming together is what they call Web 2.0 or the second version of the World Wide Web. Where interaction over the net will rise to the next level. Boring humdrum websites will come alive with sound and pictures. We will have all are daily information served up on highly customized widgets and television and radio served up to us in super clear High Definition. Basically it is everything we do toady on the Internet only better.
The stars are clearly aligning themselves for the next step forward. Google and Yahoo have taken initiatives towards video over the net. It’s a start but still has a long way to go. Take for instance Googles new search ability purely for videos. The concept is nice but when the No. 1 spot on their search ranking is “Girl caught cheating on her web cam” you know we have a long way to go. Almost all the marketing bulletin boards on the net were spinning on the news that Google was going to offer video ads and start taking a chunk out of the television ad industry. While this may be a distant possibility it’s not going to happen any time soon.The major difference between the TV and the Internet is in their nature of medium. One of the reasons why the promised convergence never happened before is that TV is a passive activity while the Internet is an active one. The television dishes out information, we choose to either receive it or switch the channel, on the other hand on the World Wide Web we choose what particular information we want. We have to go looking for it rather that it finds us. They both fulfill their separate purpose. People will always want and need for passive entertainment. No one can stay wired, switched on and on-the-ball all day and night. Or can they?