Just in Time Communications in Video

The music industry missed the music revolution. Back in 1998 when they should have been selling songs inexpensively online they instead waited for years while Napster allowed millions to download entire music libraries. Service like iTunes and the new Napster seem to be doing well these days and it is about time the record labels started to embrace the digital revolution.

But what about video? There is potentially as much demand for video content as there is for audio. Maybe even more. Aside from laptops, PCs and portable DVD players a slew of new devices are able to show and in some cases stream video. Perhaps the most pervasive of these video-enabled devices will be cellular phones.

Wireless carriers have the incentive to enable their networks to stream and charge for video as they may be able to make millions in the process. They own the network and the customers… If they play their cards right they may get a piece of every streaming transaction on their networks. Indeed Verizon Wireless is a domestic carrier who has taken a leading role in streaming video to phones via its VCAST service.

But what is the delay for everyone else? Certainly streaming video is as easy as streaming audio. It is easier to stream video to a laptop then a phone. Broadband is here. Demand is here. Where is Hollywood? Where are the networks? Why aren’t they providing us with oodles of content and charging us for it?

We know video downloads are coming and we know that software like bittorent is enabling some people to already download videos effectively.

Companies like NetFlix and Tivo are rumored to be in the process of providing video download service as well. My question is where are these services? What is the hold up? Is it licensing technology? Distribution?

Why is it so difficult today to purchase an episode of a program you missed?

I smell tremendous opportunity here but I don’t understand what the holdup is. Attention Hollywood and TV networks… Get your act together. We want to purchase episodes of programs. We want access to baseball, soccer and football games. We want to make you rich and we want to do it now.

We would already be spending money on these downloads if you made them easy to download. Let’s get moving.

And while you’re at it let’s discuss how this whole thing will work. We need access to programs with the option to either stream a program or download it. We expect you to charge us for longer access to a video. I mean of course allowing us to watch a program for a whole month will cost more than for 24 hours.

Attention service providers. We want to make you rich as well. You need you to help us by allowing tomorrow’s networks to be connected with one another. Certainly IMS will come into play to make this happen.

We need to be able to watch a program at home as a streaming broadcast and then take another device as we leave our house that continues the video stream. We need the ability to stream faster than the speed of viewing as we may want to download 3 hours of video content one hour before our flight takes off.

The term Just in Time Communications originally meant squeezing the inefficiency out of communications. This exact same term can be implied to mean squeezing inefficiency out of the video transmission system.

In short, consumers need to be in control and allowed to download content rapidly and watch it on various devices at will. We need Just in Time Video delivery.

When consumers have this ability they will take advantage of it on a large scale and Hollywood and TV studios will be the winners. Now let’s get moving so we can all live happily ever after.

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