The session today was billed under the heading "Is 'Living Room Quality' TV Coming Soon to Your Mobile Device?" but, in reality, it was much more an advertisement for a new product Fox Broadcasting Company is helping push.
The concept, called Dyle, is fairly simple. Fox and a consortium of other companies in the industry, including NBC and Ion TV, are teaming up to produce a new chip to be installed in computers and mobile devices which will allow users to watch live broadcast TV anywhere, using signals from the existing television broadcast spectrum (rather than traveling over the Internet as Hulu and other streaming services do). Think of it as the digital equivalent of outfitting your iPad with a pair of bunny ear antennae.
As more and more television outlets seek to put their content online, it raises an important question: Are we approaching an upper limit to what the existing infrastructure can handle? In other words, as more and more people start streaming their TV content from sites like Hulu or HBO GO and the like, will our broadband and wireless networks be able to handle the data? This play sidesteps that concern completely. But there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered. How will Fox and other participating networks measure their new audience? Will Dyle undercut the traditional TV businesses? What will advertising look like in the new service? Few answers were on offer.