Questions for the future: connected television

On Wednesday afternoon Digital Encounters asked different audiovisual professionals this simple question which involves us all: what are the likely convergences between television and the internet? As Lolo, this debate’s facilitator said, do we need to take this missive from the Guignols de l’infos (News Puppets) seriously: ‘Hello, you are looking at the internet’s ancestor’?

Claude Esclatine, director of Outre-mer Première, Bernard Benhamou, delegate for Internet use, Yves Haupert, director of TNTV and Joël Wirsztel, director of the publication Satellifax (a magazine specialising in audiovisual) took part in this debate to try to understand this new situation: online television capable of connecting to the Web but above all of combining interactive content with programmes broadcast by TV channels. ‘Even us, the editors, are moderately prepared, confesses Claude Esclatine. This evolution will challenge the economic chain as a whole. The real issue, I think, is not in the transport of the content but in the content itself.’ Joël Wirsztel said that within 3 years, tomorrow in other words! 80% of sets will be connectable and that many television manufacturers have already launched into the battle, in partnership with web giants like Yahoo and Google. Is creation in danger? How should channels protect themselves against having their programmes ‘plagiarized’? For the major broadcasters do not intend to let the wolf into the fold so easily! France Télévisions believes in the potential of this market, but a contained and controlled potential.

For Google, television belongs to consumers and not channels

It was Claude Escaltine who said… The battle for online television has begun and we each have to defend our position in a landscape where the heralded convergence between television screens and the internet involves a redistribution of the cards with regard access to content, audience measurement and associated advertising revenues.

As for Bernard Benhamou, for whom television has actually only had ‘one minor evolution in 30 years,’ it will soon be disrupted… ‘I believe that television will be no more than one screen amongst many in the domestic galaxy. The tablet will be the main screen to interact with and from which everything will converge.’

New uses, new types of consumption, new supports, new applications, new programmes, the distribution of images in the 21st century is a real challenge on all levels of the links in the chain, the latter probably require being entirely reconsidered.