Connected TV Changes the Traditional Living Room

Streaming video is changing how people watch their favorite shows as it invades the living room. Does that change what we mean when we talk about the living room itself? Sparks few from the start at a recent Streaming Media West conference, as the panelists disagreed about exactly what the living room is nowadays.

For Kyle Okamoto, senior manager of product portfolio for Verizon Digital Media Services, today's living room is far different from that of only a few years back.

"The living room is where consumers want to spend time watching premium, high-quality content, and want to experience that on a two-way interactive basis. The living room can go with a consumer. We want to definitely support a mobile living room. If I want to set up my living room in my hotel room upstairs instead of watching the 13 grainy channels that are coming in on my TV, then I should be able to do that," said Okamoto.

Disagreeing sharply was Jeremy Toeman, chief product officer for Dijit, who holds the traditional view that the living room is that comfortable place in the house centered around the television.

"I think the living room is a distinct place. I think the living room really is that place in the home where, after the long day, you're kicking back with or without your family, whatever your environment is. It is a distinct type of environment. When I was at Sling, we were actually very deliberate to include the words 'Take your living room TV with you wherever you go.' So I believe that there is a completely mobile, personal, whenever, wherever aspect to your media entertainment life, but I think that 'living room' deserves its own special treatment," shot back Toeman.

Taking a central position, Kelly Egan, vice president of business development at Fanhattan, thinks the living room is defined more by the experience than the location.

"If you look across the user demographics as far as a two-foot, five-foot, and ten-foot experience, currently there isn't much differentiating them other than screen size. If you take that and you look at that as this box of experience or the tenets of a living room experience, then I think that's a good place to start on where the living room is. The living room is a collection of five to ten agreed upon product features, experience features, that can really be transferred to location or screen size, but they exist in a collection of each other," said Egan.

Scroll down to watch the entire discussion:

Traditional TV vs. the Connected Living Room - Who Will Win?

With the confluence of content from new media, UGC, and web-based video producers along with traditional studios, cable companies, and TV stations, which technologies are necessary to bring all of this content together onto one internet-connected smart TV device? We've heard about the connected living room for years, but why has it not yet happened? What's holding back mass adoption of smart TV technologies? Take a look at how consumer demand, big media politics, and innovative new startups are coming together to make smart TV a reality.   

Moderator: Mark Mangiola, Venture Partner, Canaan Partners
Speaker: Kelly Egan, VP, Business Development, Fanhattan
Speaker: Kyle Okamoto, Senior Manager of Product Portfolio, Verizon Digital Media Services
Speaker: Jeremy Toeman, Chief Product Officer, Dijit

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