As the smart TV battle heats up, what will happen to content control and management? The mash-ups between Google TV, LG and Samsung, and the less-thrilling partnerships with Sony and Logitek, promise much in terms of choice, mobile harmonisation on Android, and even links to home appliances.
But where will this leave corporate organisations tempted by the marketing sizzle, which may then come to regret the lack of secure control over their digital media?
AT CES in January, various TV manufacturers unveiled smart TVs based on the Google TV/Android environment, but none were readily available in the UK, and none had been developed with business community in mind.
Sure, there will eventually be access to channels and web content, but there is no facility for managing multiple content feeds to hundreds of screens in a building, or for controlling the delivery of specific channels to specific screens at specific times, or for restricting access to any outside broadcast content while scheduling internal streamed content.
Control of that kind, the sort that is needed in corporate environments, is absent.
But resellers can take comfort from this lack of content management and control. There remains a strong argument for recommending world-class, proven solutions for the corporate market, where margins can be made.
There are many areas where a clever consumer solution has been adapted for corporate life.
Tablets and smartphones, for example, have become nearly ubiquitous, and hardware manufacturers are happy to develop app-based controls for them, knowing they will be accepted, understood or even preferred by the business customer.
One of the most problematic areas for any business is ensuring that data and content is secure. Smart TV content might appear attractive, but this accessibility is actually a threat.
There is little control over content delivery through a smart TV, and the sheer accessibility of it can also allow disruptive, distracting content into an organisation. It can ride roughshod over security measures that have been put in place.
It is worth reminding them that they are potentially opening a Pandora's box of trouble for themselves. Smart TVs are best left for consumers to enjoy, in my view, while resellers continue to extol the virtues of secure, controlled corporate TV distribution.
Mike Cuckow is sales director at Cabletime
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