In a previous article, I extolled the virtues of Cloud TV, which could bring a rich experience to just about any set-top box today. It could save billions in cost to cable companies. Cable customers would wake up one day (or come home) to see an awesome new user interface without even requesting it. How wonderful is that ?! Not really …
With Cloud TV, every key press would have to go to the cloud and back. Then, it takes time for the cloud to change the image, encode it and send it back to you. Then the set-top box buffers the video to give you a ‘smooth’ experience. ‘Smooth’ is in quotes because whats smooth for video is jerky for menus.
So you would press a key on the remote, take a sip of coffee and maybe the screen would change, if the cable company didn’t lose your keystroke
Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks? Good Luck !
Really smart engineers and propellor heads (my friends) would spend years trying to make the web appear on the TV. But every time a sexy designer added a new design like glowing screens, it wouldn’t work on Cloud TV. YUCK !!!!
Not So Cheap
The return path, i.e. the system that sends your keystroke from the remote to the cloud needed major upgrades to make this work. This would have undone the billions that the cable companies would have saved in making new set-top boxes. And those investments would not help things like high speed internet that is the future
Better Use Of Talent
Engineering talent is super expensive. And it needs a lot of direction and support to achieve great products. Using that talent to put lipstick on a pig is counter productive
Leaders in cable companies get very little credit. You hear so much about Jobs & Bezos & Musk, but you probably never heard of Ralph Roberts. The superb leaders at Comcast like Tony Werner & Elad Nafshi listened to our analysis, and decided it was time to MOVE FORWARD. We needed superb user interfaces with awesome experiences – the ability to find new content, and command the TV with your voice. You can get all that and more on X1 today. I am proud to have been a part of the decision making.
X1 has won many awards and the hearts of millions of customers