Making TV on the Web

I spent several years in the early 2000’s working on Microsoft’s overall TV strategy in line with our acquisition of WebTV, the early hype on HDTV (which finally works), “Interactive” TV and other incarnations of how digital technology would impact television.  Of course the impact and change is ongoing with everything from the programming to the monetization models changing over time.  However, as with all things television, things are moving a bit more slowly than those of us in the computer industry are used too. 

One thing that is fun right now is watching ideas that started years ago come around again.  In this case all the work we are doing on Silverlight and the notion of a “TV” like channel on the web comes into play. To this point, I recently found out that Ice Cube is creating an Internet TV channel called and is using Silverlight to develop  the video and the guide – the two most important aspects of a TV channel.  Check out this video to see him talking about the channel and the technology.  There is lots of data to support how eyeballs are migrating from the TV to the PC (and the Internet) and this is another opportunity to do that.  Of course many people can argue that with flat screens, built in processors, and broadband connections, the difference (technically) between a TV and a PC is blurring quickly.  In fact, one of the main reasons behind the current writers strike is about getting compensated for content viewed on the Web.  This is exactly why we created Silverlight, to enable developers in industries such as Hollywood to easily translate everyday experiences like watching your favorite shows to the Web for any platform.  Last week I talked about how I would rate developers over users and I did that for exactly this reason.  We need developers to create the content that we want and the content we don’t even know we want.  This is what we love! 

Best of luck to Ice Cube and his crew on their new Internet channel.  Now if only I could parlay my success at Microsoft to the music industry…I wonder if DJ Guggs would take off???