[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 27 November 2006, 06:09 GMT
Future of TV: The internet pioneer
Tape it off the Internet
The site could bring a huge range of TV shows into the home
A new website, Tape it off the Internet, promises to make it easy to find thousands of TV shows from any country at any time - from authorised and unauthorised sources.

It combines programme links with social networking facilities like friends, recommendations and messageboards. Paul Cleghorn is its co-founder.

HOW WILL WE BE WATCHING TV IN 10 YEARS?

It will be a mix of the current schedule - a lot of people just want to watch what's on - combined with sites like ours to navigate the long tail of archive TV.

The distribution in five or 10 years is just going to be invisible. You're just going to get all this stuff on whatever device you want to watch it on.

I still think that's going to be the biggest screen in the house, which is the telly. There's a lot of people watching telly on laptops at the moment, but it's not a brilliant experience. You have to balance it on your knee for a start.

A lot of this depends on getting internet content onto the big screen in the home. I think that's the last battle to be fought and hopefully the hardware guys like Microsoft and Apple are going to sort that out for us.

WILL TV PROGRAMMES BE CHANGED BY HOW WE WATCH THEM?

When people have the choice of moving off the schedule, the one thing that does stand out is that programmes that are deliberately created as filler, like a lot of daytime TV, really struggle to justify their existence.

Big brands are going to take their advertising dollars and make their own TV shows and distribute them online
Paul Cleghorn
Co-founder, Tape it off the Internet
Maybe the overall quality might start creeping up a little bit, and once the limitation of how you distribute TV - ie through a few gatekeepers, the broadcasters - changes, maybe people will start taking a few more risks with the content.

The other big change is that advertisers and big brands are going to take their advertising dollars and make their own TV shows and distribute them online.

We're at the point where they can reach their audience without having to go through these gatekeepers - they can take that advertising budget and spend it directly on making interesting shows to talk to their audience.

It's almost like going back to the '50s where you used to have a programme backed by one sponsor because they wanted to reach an audience. The original soap operas were sponsored by soap manufacturers, that's where they get the name.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR THE SCHEDULED TV CHANNEL?

They do have a future because they're more than just a distribution mechanism, they're a brand. As a brand, they have a certain voice.

Not everyone is going to always individually go off and find every single telly programme they want to watch, and these distinctive voices are still going to be valuable things to have.

They're going to exist slightly differently but having those collections of programmes together under a distinctive voice and brand still makes sense.

WHAT ROLE WILL USER-GENERATED CONTENT PLAY IN MAINSTREAM VIEWING?

My personal opinion? As little as possible. On our site, we're not having it. Occasionally, something will bubble up that is good and interesting, like Lonelygirl15. But there's going to be so few of those I think you're not going to notice it much.




RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific