Why isn't viewing content like child's play?

Three weeks ago I had problems with two clouds. Rain clouds and “The Cloud”.

As the British summer goes, rain is the seasonal hazard for any barbeque booked in advance. So the backup plan kicked in when torrential downpours arrived on the day. Movies on-demand, you’re it …

Saturday morning arrives, I check everything is operational and decide to shortlist some movies. The set top box throws out an error with no diagnosis, just an “Oops, something went wrong”. Of all days, it has to be this one. 30 minutes of tracking down the problem; my Internet Service Provider DNS has failed. Social media is flooded with complaints – it’s as if the world is ending. I only know this because I can change the DNS to Google’s servers (8.8.8.8) on my browser. But the set top box and wi-fi broadband router have no way to change DNS. I am totally at the mercy of the ISP, as is everyone else. Backup plan two fails as I go shopping for DVDs; some shops have no card payment facility because of The Cloud outage. They’re on the same ISP.

While contemplating the impending destructive force of bored kids unleashed in my home it struck me; I’m paying to watch several movies over and over again only to not have access to them when offline. Where is the sense in that?

Mission impossible

This problem is rife in the content industry as a whole – constraints brought on by DRM within music and gaming are constantly making the headlines. But let’s be honest, no matter where you download your music or games, you could save it to your hard drive and still enjoy offline.

I’ve touched upon this in my previous blogs; the evolution of on-demand content has seen business models change. Streaming has overtaken owned content yet pirate sites offer more choice and freedom to view offline. In fact Netflix curates its content based on how popular it is on pirate sites.

So why is there no equivalent of Spotify for movies, where I can download for offline viewing – why is no one seizing the opportunity?

Keeping the faith

Taking these issues and my situation from the weekend into consideration, there are many ways content distributors can improve the user experience for us:

  • Frequently viewed movies could be cached on the box, enabling you to view content without an internet connection. No more trying to explain DNS outages to a four year old.
  • Content distributors could seize the open gaps in the market and provide you with more options than solely streaming.
  • Syncing with smart devices could also provide you with content anywhere you go, whether commuting during the week or taking shelter from the rain on a weekend

 All of this needs trust in our devices, something the Trustonic ‹t-base TEE can deliver.

The Cloud outage got fixed; the rain clouds blew over and all enjoyed Despicable Me 2.