Flipping The Model

We’ve had AppleTVs and Boxees on our family room TV for a while now. Last year I put Chromecast on it as well. I use it a lot but my kids haven’t warmed up to it yet.

Yesterday I got a call from my son. He said “how do you use this Chromecast thing?” I told him to take out the Nexus7 and turn on the TV and go to the Chromecast video source. He said he had already done that but there were no content options on the screen. I asked him if he still had the Nexus7 in his hand. He said yes. I told him to launch the Netflix app on the Nexus7. He did that. I told him to click on the Chromecast icon in the app. He responded “wow, that was easy.”

In an instant he understood that Chromecast flips the model. The content is on your device and you “cast” it onto the screen. He asked me if he could do the same with his iPhone. I told him he could. He was pleased.

I’ve written this before, but I think things like Bluetooth, Airplay, and Chromecast are the better model for getting content from the Internet onto TVs and into cars.

TVs and cars are expensive, you don’t replace them very often, and it takes time to get a new model designed, built, and into the market.

Contrast that with an app on your phone or tablet. You can iterate on that quickly with new features, functionality, and content.

It’s always tricky to go to market with a different model. We’ve had smart devices like set top boxes connected to our TV sets for decades and that’s how people think of getting content onto screens.

But I’d be plenty happy with a new TV and car that came with nothing more than a screen and bluetooth, airplay, and chromecast built in. No wires, no UI, just a screen and connectivity.

That’s where I think we are headed. It may take some time to get there. But it makes a lot more sense.