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Five Reasons You Aren’t Watching Internet Video On Your TV… Yet

The Wall Street Journal came up with five reasons that nobody is watching internet video on their TV’s.

Read this chart. Nuff said?

Don’t confuse this. People ARE watching online videos, just not on their TV sets.

In August, Internet users in the U.S. viewed 9.13 billion online videos, up 26% from 7.24 billion in January, estimates research firm comScore Inc.

Here are the five reasons they give.

THE PROBLEM: Too Many Boxes

Let’s start with one of the most basic problems: clutter. Consumers simply don’t want to add a new box to their home-entertainment centers. Consumers made exceptions, of course, for DVD players and VCRs. But the benefits of stand-alone Internet video players have been too weak to make people clear space in their homes.

Agreed. I’m out of space, and I only have the bare essentials. Even my DVD player is a combo VCR/DVD unit.

THE PROBLEM: Too Complicated

Besides the hassles of getting Internet video players hooked up to television sets, most of them also need to be configured to connect to the Internet over a wired or wireless home network. And that process can be daunting.

Couldn’t agree more, and I’m really good at this stuff. I can’t put drywall up or fix my garbage disposal, but for some reason I’m really apt at working with the cables behind my entertainment system. And sometimes even I get confused. Can’t imagine how a person who has no clue feels.

THE PROBLEM: Sticker Shock

Compared with other methods of getting entertainment, Internet video devices are often pricey. The movie box from Vudu Inc., of Santa Clara, Calif., costs $399 and Apple TV starts at $299, hundreds of dollars more than a DVD player. TiVos sell for as low as $100, but users must subscribe to a service that costs between $8.31 and $12.95 a month, plus rental or purchase fees for downloading videos from Amazon.

Steve and I talked about this today on the Video Ninjas radio show. Steve was echoing the thoughts that Tivo priced themselves out of a market share. I agree.

THE PROBLEM: Limited Selection

Today, most Internet video players are tightly linked with the hardware makers’ own online video service or those they’ve cut deals with. Selection isn’t comprehensive on most of these services, limiting their appeal. Often, the services don’t have deals with all the Hollywood studios and television producers, don’t get the best mainstream titles fast enough, or don’t offer YouTube and other sources of user-generated video.

Not much to say except yeah, I agree. The content needs to be there. Right now it’s not, by far.

THE PROBLEM: Slow Downloads

Watching a television show or movie through some Internet video players can be an exercise in delayed gratification. Some boxes, like the Xbox 360, can begin playing videos purchased or rented online after only a few minutes, depending on the speed of a user’s broadband connection. In other cases, users often have to wait hours to watch a movie until it has fully downloaded, as with videos purchased from Amazon through TiVo’s older digital video recorders. (Newer TiVo boxes let users watch videos as they’re downloading.)

Answer this honestly. Would you wait the same amount of time you wait online if you were staring at your TV? I would not.

What are your thoughts on this topic? How long will it be before the world is watching YouTube on their TV sets in mass?

More from Ross Dawson.

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