Don’t Turn Off That Television – Oh, Wait: You Can’t!

Vizeo moves into the mainstream
Vizio will make a splash at CES 2011

This week, the Consumer Electronics Show opens in Las Vegas, and it is certain that the buzz will be all about TVs. As we spend most of our lives involved with media, we’ll report from the show, share insight, and explain how some of the new tech will affect you. For most of you, TV is changing, and faster than anyone might imagine.

The big change? Consider that many people will either scale back or kill off their cable or satellite pay TV. New televisions will incorporate the Internet and pay-per-view services, such as Netflix on a scale not previously seen. Add in the ability to view and manage media from a smartphone or an iPad (or similar) and you have all the makings of a huge shift in user activity. If you select Cox Communications as your carrier on the West Coast, and order HD channels and three movie services, expect to pay approximately $80 per month. With a new Internet-savvy TV, you could watch a movie every day and spend less. A lot less.

The big change isn’t just about money, however. It’s about choice. It’s also about merging and managing media. Apple, not presenting at CES, has easy to use technology called AirPlay that permits real-time live streaming of media from an iPhone or iPad to an AppleTV equipped HD television. And Apple TV (and other Apple devices) support Netflix, YouTube, and other Internet services. Steve Jobs told the media that the original AppleTV was a “hobby.” The new edition, retailing for less than $100, is gaining traction, selling more than 1 million units during the past three months.

Expect Vizio to get very competitive at this year’s CES. With a new smartphone and slate (iPad competitor) device, Vizio is making good on its objective of giving Sony a run for its money and is already competing with Samsung in the US. The upstart American company has a long way to go, but their presence will be felt at the show – and at retailers across the country throughout 2011.

The iPad will likely see dozens of competitors hit the market, or at least be demonstrated at the show. A year ago, nobody knew what an iPad was. In February 2011, Apple will have dozens of competitors biting at its heels, with solutions geared for home entertainment, but also for sales, medical, and other commercial uses. Apple’s remarkable user experience is likely to help it maintain a huge advantage, but it will need to stay aggressive and current (as in an iPad 2) if it expects people to stay on board.

Ford MyTouch System
Ford's new MyTouch system.

And electronics are making more noise in our vehicles than ever before. Auto manufactures have displayed their wares at CES before, but this year, a number of manufacturers, including Ford, will make a much stronger presence. The Ford MyTouch system, found in the new Explorer, Edge, and the 2012 Focus (on sale soon), will tempt buyers to make a purchase decision based on the tech inside the cabin, as opposed to the tech inside the engine compartment. This technology explosion isn’t limited to Ford, as many manufacturers will announce in-vehicle WIFI and the ability to connect to the web, for viewing of YouTube videos, following Tweats (Twitter) and even reading email to the driver (eyes on the road, Jack!).

All of these technological devices and strategies have some impact on what we do for a living, and how we enjoy our personal time. These technologies will also impact how we reach our audiences, regardless of how or where they come from. Our clients need to know how these evolving and emerging new devices and capabilities impact their marketing, sales, and promotional strategies and tactics. To keep up with the Jones’, stick with us throughout the week. Make sure you attach yourself to our Twitter feed to get the latest info from the show.

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