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2015 According to Futurologists

The IPTV industrialist

Suranga Chandratillake, Founder of blinkx - Blinkx is the world’s largest online video search engine and its founder, Suranga Chandratillake, is an expert in the IPTV and online video space. As well as masterminding his own venture, he has also helped advise on Project Canvas. This is his version of 2015 technology:

Everyone talks about the channel explosion—in fewer than 15 years, our TV viewing options have multiplied from 5 channels, to the 500 strong cable and satellite reality we know today, and as internet television comes of age, many believe that the Web will open up a million channel experience, scattered across a vast content universe.

I disagree. My vision is of a single channel future. 5 years from now, I believe that each of us will have our own personal channel, which we can take with us wherever we go. Bid a fond farewell to those fruitless quests through 500 stations for something that interests you. The future lies in a personalised river of information and content, which flows seamlessly with us throughout our day, across a variety of interconnected devices.

In 2015 when you turn on the news over breakfast, you’ll be greeted by a bespoke broadcast which covers the breaking news and stories that really matter to you. Better still, if you’re dashing out the door, you won’t miss a thing since your mobile will automatically pick up wherever you left off.

At work, when you open up your tailored TV browser, you’ll not only find the breaking news that matters to you and your business, but there will be a host of content snacks from comedy clips to documentary tit-bits perfect for those 5-minute breaks that we all need.

Then, when you finally put your feet up at the end of the day, “Your Channel” will have automatically lined-up the latest episodes of your favourite shows, with a side-helping of sports highlights, following the teams that count and the players that you love.

This programming nirvana is closer than you might imagine. In fact, almost all the pieces are already in place.

First, thanks to the Internet, there’s potential for all content to be easily accessible and totally compatible, whether it’s professional video from online broadcast players like 4oD and the iPlayer, or UGC clips on sites like YouTube. Second, you need intelligent search technology that can both understand what is available in the vast content universe, and also capture what you want based on explicit search instructions and personal preferences inferred from your viewing history. Advanced video search engines like blinkx are the roadmap for this new content universe.

The final milestone on the road to this TV nirvana is for commercial features to become standardized and easily accessible. Progress is already being made with IAB-driven standardization of ad units, ad platforms like Vindico, and shared payment systems like PayPal, which will eventually support wrappers to content.

The driving force behind all great innovation is the desire to enhance and simplify our everyday lives. It stands to reason then that the future of entertainment lies not in an infinite maze of channels and options, but rather in tools which give us the content we want, when we want it.