Australia: The Foxtel killer?

From CNN:

OKYO, Jan. 7, 2008 (Thomson Financial delivered by Newstex) — Japan’s Matsushita Electric Industrial Co (NYSE:MC) , the world’s largest consumer electronics maker, has teamed up with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and YouTube to commercialize flat panel television sets that allow users to access and view videos online, the Nikkei reported on Tuesday, without citing sources.

This will be the Google group’s first tie-up with a Japanese consumer electronics manufacturer in TV-related services, the business daily said.

The Internet-enabled plasma TVs are expected to hit store shelves in the US this spring, it said.

Google is the world’s largest Internet search engine, while YouTube is one of the most prominent players in online video distribution.

Matsushita’s Net-enabled TVs will let users access YouTube’s video-sharing site and Google’s Picasa photo-sharing site by simply pressing a button on the remote control, the Nikkei said.

The maker of Panasonic brand electronics is likely to monitor sales of the Internet-enabled TVs, as well as the development of copyright management systems around the world, before deciding whether to also sell the TVs outside the US, the report said.

(1 US dollar = 109.01 yen)

There’s never anything on Foxtel anyway. Trust me, I have the premium package. Gonna watch seesmic, mogulus and ustream instead on all that flat panel goodness.

What happens to that Apple TV box thing if this takes off- you don’t need any more hardware to surf the ‘net.

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  1. Finally for the non geek Joe the web comes to the lounge room.

    If they get this to sell then this will dramatically change the way the web works over the next few years.

  2. I was wondering this morning – if you embedded a camera on it, and Skype, would video calls from the loungeroom become more popular?

  3. Hi Laurel,

    Having tried to partner with the leading player in this market space – I was working with Akimbo to bring their hard drive equipped set top boxes into Australia. Akimbo have one of the largest PPV video on demand libraries licensed for delivery via the web.

    (the project fell apart when Akimbo decided to partner with Microsoft)

    Cognation put together a model that partnered with some of the Australian ISP’s and was planning to use this channel to handle the distribution.

    The issue with the YouTube only enabled TV is that a single destination platform will only support so much viewing time (even though YouTube is a fantastic destination).

    My question that I’d put to Matsushita is why not build a ‘product’ portal that they can add to over time. Even without a ‘charging’ mechanism/revenue model they can build brand loyalty over time.

    Owning the customer is more valuable than anything YouTube specifically can bring to the table.

    Dean Collins

  4. @dean collins oh silly me! I assumed that was what they were doing. YouTube and Picasa (images) today: a bloody big iPhone in your lounge room tomorrow o.O

    @200ok YouTube is soooo Web 1.0. Centralised hosting, locked in, clunky interface.

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