Mix 06
  • Live in Vegas

Media, media everywhere, but why on the PC?

Once you get into the new “Whole Product” paradigm (see “Extend your Reach”, where I describe content delivered to multiple devices), you’ll quickly realize: while it’s cool to see a movie or a TV show in the palm of your hand, it may not always be the optimal experience for the content.

I can hear “well duh” all the way from here. 

Believe me: I’m jazzed that I can hop on a plane and watch “Firefly” (I’m such a fanboi) on my laptop.  When I get to my hotel room, I either plug the laptop into the TV or use my DVD in the room’s player.  At home, I pry my kids off the XBOX 360 and watch Mal and his crew on the 50-inch in the media room with BIG sound.

The scenarios I just described sound pretty commonplace, but let’s look at the components. We have:

  • Laptop
  • Hotel room TV / DVD
  • Big screen at home

In these scenarios, we mostly likely move the physical DVD between devices.  But, what if the content is provided by a download from a subscription?  First, we might add a desktop PC to the mix and then enter the mystifying and confusing world of digital rights management (DRM).

I got 2/3 of the way through a rant about DRM and the complexities therein before I reminded myself: this post is not about DRM.  Please consider yourselves rescued.

Let’s say that we’ve navigated the rocky coastlines of DRM and now ‘own’ the content we just downloaded.  We now get to choose the venue:

  • We might choose our home PC to manage our media subscription services.  It’s centrally located, always on and can cache login information for others in the household.  It is likely the central point of download from a subscription service, but digital satellite and cable boxes can also come into play.  The PC may be relegated to file storage.
  • We might also choose our laptop to manage content for our own use, or the content we intend to take offline.  Collected and transported this way, the laptop also works nicely with the airplane and hotel room TV scenario.
  • We’re going to a “Firefly” convention and we want to show off our new device to our fellow fanbois.  While not the best display venue (save for very cozy environments), a handheld device goes a long way toward cool at the conference.

Venue selection plays a critical part of the user experience.  Given the option, I would rather watch my shows from the comfort of my couch, rather than at my desk.  While the desktop PC may be the best place to acquire the content, it may not always be the best place to consume the content.  Join the conversation. Register now.

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About micoat

Michael is a Microsoft Technical Evangelist on the Strategic Solutions team. He creates business solutions using technology and works with partners to implement them.