This, my friends, is the future of television.
Saw on Twitter a couple of hours ago that Ed Kohler (from Technology Evangelist) recommended MSNBC.com‘s coverage of Super Tuesday. “Click on the red dashboard button” he said and up popped the window with live, streaming video and constantly updating primary results you see at left.
Using this dashboard let me move out of the family room (where my son was finishing homework and was distracted by the TV) and head upstairs with my laptop. I surfed other web sites while keeping tabs on what was happening.
Constantly updating and refreshed “Race results” along with the live video feed was just awesome. Really fabulous execution and it worked flawlessly.
The player was Flash and this was the best streaming I’ve watched yet (assume H.264). I still want a form factor that is bigger than an iPhone, smaller than my laptop that I can carry about with me like a portfolio (no, the Macbook Air isn’t it since you still have a lid to open), but well packaged content like this is viewable fine on a laptop or desktop machine.
The smart aspect of MSNBC’s delivery — and why I say this is the future of television — was the total experience of “the dashboard” instead of just the streaming video. It provided me, the viewer, with a comprehensive perspective of near real time results along with the commentary, interviews and banter of live television coverage. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed some scrolling race result on live TV and been bugged that I have to wait for another cycle until they display the results again. This time, it was all at my fingertips. Great job MSNBC.
Now imagine watching PBS, National Geographic, History or Science channels where they always scroll text that says something like, “See more about _________ on our website” but I never do. This way it could automagically appear alongside the video at the right time and augment my viewing of the video providing me with a much richer experience.