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Last Updated: Monday, 27 November 2006, 06:08 GMT
Future of TV: The production company
Endemol is one of the world's leading independent production companies, creating hits such as Big Brother and Deal or No Deal. Tim Hincks is the creative director of Endemol UK.

How will we be watching TV in 10 years?

Pete Bennett
Big Brother is "a creature of its age", Endemol's Tim Hincks says
You have to expect there will be far more entry points to watching and enjoying content - whether it's in bite-size chunks on the web or whether it's down your broadband pipe onto what used to be your telly, but now is just a multi-entertainment centre.

But I think the notion of mass entertainment, certainly if you're looking 10 years hence, is still going to be fighting fit. It may mean slightly different things and I'm sure will involve fewer actual amounts of people, but the notion of stuff that people talk about the next day will still be around.

You only need to be a Sky+ user to get some sense of where it's going. You start to watch the same things as everyone else but at different times. But there is still stuff you feel you've got to watch live now, as it happens, when it happens, and clearly there will be that balance.

What does the future hold for the traditional TV channel?

I suppose the truth is some of them will survive, some won't.

One thing they've got going for them is the sense of a brand you recognise and trust. They're content destinations that come with a mark of quality and a certain attitude and direction that you'll recognise and I think the big terrestrial channels clearly have a huge advantage over some of the digital ones.

The rumours of the death of the big networks are exaggerated - as long as they change with the times. And they do represent quality and attitude that we need in an increasingly fractured universe. In an on demand world, they will be less dominant but their values may be exactly what we're looking for as we blindly feel our way through what's on offer.

Will TV programmes be changed by how we watch them?

Yes and no. You don't create content with a television set in mind. You create content because it feels right and is going to entertain you.

Endemol UK chief creative officer Tim Hincks
It's quite hard work watching The Lord of the Rings on your iPod, frankly
Tim Hincks
On the other hand, technology can be a really interesting creative driver.

Big Brother couldn't have existed in the 1970s and '80s. Technology has allowed it to be what it is, whether that's the way we vote or the way it's delivered on a daily basis with a very quick turnaround - Big Brother is a creature of its age.

So technology and creativity can merge and be inter-dependent. It may be some content is shorter, more bite-size, that you can watch soaps bit-by-bit in mobisodes and so on.

But those creative people are going to have just as much fun designing narrative-based games, for example, or mobile phone episodes, as they are a traditional TV show. It's still the same brains involved.

Creatively, a lot of the emerging technologies are attracting pretty mediocre brains at the moment because the money and the glamour is still in telly. Clearly things are moving, but they haven't reached tipping point yet.

How will the viewing experience and viewing habits change?

The size of a television or computer screen seems to work for long-form shows - stuff that lasts half an hour or an hour. On mobile phones and much smaller delivery systems, it's hard work. It's quite hard work watching The Lord of the Rings on your iPod, frankly, and probably never will feel right.

But in the end, I'm absolutely certain people want to be entertained, to cry, to laugh. Whatever way it works, people who create things from scratch are in the prime position. There's probably far more opportunity for the imaginative and the creative in content than there's ever been. It's sort of a gold rush.

What role will user-generated video play in future mainstream viewing?

You wouldn't rule [users creating mass audience hits] out. Maybe every now and again.

I certainly wouldn't underestimate the power of user-generated content, whether it's in news or entertainment, to absolutely provide an alternative to the existing structures and models. I may be wrong, but I don't think in 5-10 years it's going to be seismic.

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