TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Boston Techies Envision TV's On-demand Future

Boston Techies Envision TV's On-demand Future

Monty Solomon (
Mon, 6 Dec 2004 23:15:56 -0500


By Scott Kirsner

At the end of a boisterous dinner, after several glasses of good red
wine, technology entrepreneur John Landry pulled out his iPaq
hand-held and beckoned me over to his side of the table.

"You'll think this is cool," he said. "We call it Tiny TiVo ."

Suddenly, his iPaq began playing the opening segment of the "Today"
show, recorded that morning. For kicks, Landry had tweaked software
made by his company, Adesso Systems of Boston, so that it would
transfer television shows recorded on his home PC to his hand-held,
allowing him to watch them whenever and wherever he wanted.

Illegal? Possibly. But cool? Definitely.

Boston isn't typically thought of as a hub of the entertainment
industry. But Boston techies are envisioning the future of television,
from nifty tricks like Tiny TiVo to massive video-on-demand systems
like those sold by Maynard's SeaChange International and deployed by
Comcast .

The next generation of TV would hardly be recognizable to Philo
Farnsworth, the farm boy who invented the medium. You'll choose
exactly which shows you want to watch, and watch them on your
schedule, on whatever device is most convenient. You'll even be able
to "edit" a show yourself, choosing to watch only the scoring drives
from Sunday's Patriots game, or just the stories from the local news
that relate to your neighborhood. The ads you see will be tightly
targeted, pitching Jordan's Furniture and Brinks Home Security if
you've just bought a new house, for instance.

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