Chris Jackson

TV everywhere: all that happened at november’s #metabeertalks

It’s the usual quick round-up of all that happened at #MetaBeerTalks. This month we covered a topic that’s been discussed for years, and finally reached mainstream in 2014: TV everywhere, specifically the idea that a TV platform would make its services available on mobile and PC platforms, as well as on the TV.

MetaBroadcast has spent much of the last year working on TV Everywhere projects, so this was also a fitting topic as we celebrated our 7th birthday. Naturally, there was cake and some wine of the sparkling variety. More about that later. Meanwhile, we had some fascinating talks.

the future finally arrives

Easy TV, wherever you wanted it. It’s kinda what we were promised in 1960s sci-fi, alongside the flying cars. I started off with some Jetsons Clips. We know why the flying cars haven’t materialised, but what happened to easy TV, that allows you to watch whatever you want, wherever you want it? What’s so hard there?

In a word, the hard bit is rights. I shared some diagrams for just football and movies, showing how complex the restrictions are, across devices, time windows and geographies. We’re excited about the idea of platform TV everywhere, because often platforms are able to bring together rights from lots of different sources, to present an easy to use offer across devices. For example, we’ve been working recently with BT, who have made deals across numerous content sources, as diverse as free to air TV, catchup TV from broadcasters, archive TV and movies from Netflix, PVR from YouView, Premier League football, extra kids and documentary channels, and even new release arthouse movies from Curzon. Much of this is available across TV, PC and mobile, with a consistent user experience.

still not simple

That’s all a wonderful vision, and we’ve come a good way towards it. But there’s still a way to go. Steve gave some examples of the good improvements we’ve made, and the things that are still required.

fed up

Garry is fed up with TV. Not the content, but the hoops he has to jump through to get it. Especially if he’s not planning to subscribe to a TV plan. He likes the Netflix model of releasing a whole season at once, but in a world of apps, how many would you actually use, let alone pay for?

tv from everywhere

We’re all agreed that having lots of different content available is a good thing. But how many smart devices do we really need? Tom‘s answer is one, and he believes it should be a mobile device. We saw some pretty ridiculous examples of tweets on TV last month. Is navigating a complex content catalogue on TV any less ridiculous? Tom’s view is that this surely belongs on a mobile screen. Technologies like Airplay can then get the content onto the screen of your choice. This is all made pretty easy with some of the BT TV apps we’ve been working on.


Someone had to. Zach then gave a quick runthrough how our flexible APIs power TV Everywhere services like BT’s TV apps. Crucially, all end-user devices call data direct from our servers, rather than implementing an middle layer that eats development time, and ends up caching stale data.

12 days of Christmas

Finally, Mirona ran through 12 uses of TV, across all kinds of devices, for the 12 days of Christmas, linked nicely to the subject of our January 2015 #MetaBeerTalks.

As always, the conversation was fuelled by plenty of food and drink, as it continued through to closing time. Here’s the stats:

  • 5 bottles of Prosecco (we were celebrating!)
  • 17 and a half pints of ale
  • 11 pints of cider
  • 6 glasses/ bottles of lager
  • 5 chipshop platters (we needed some fried food with all that Procecco!)
  • 5 nachos with pulled pork
  • 5 baked camembert (still the best thing)
  • 5 mushrooms on garlic bread
  • 5 onion rings
  • 5 olives
  • and more, 5 cokes, 4 orange juices, 3 whiskeys, 2 dashes of lime, and 1 bottle of water

And of course the cake, which was rather nice. Lots of chocolate, and raspberries both in the filling and on top. All of which wraps up #MetaBeerTalks for 2014. We’re back in January, at a new, exciting venue, Marlborough Arms, on Torrington Place. We’ll be talking about ALL YOUR TV SECRETS was there nothing better to do at Christmas? (or maybe there was?) at 6.30 for a 7pm start of the talks. See you there?

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