Netflix CEO: Web browser is television's future

Forget channel surfing, Web surfing is the future of television, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings tells

In five to twenty years, says Reed, “the way that consumers will interact on the big screen will be similar to the way they interact on a laptop screen.” Instead of switching channels, they’ll visit online video destinations as the web becomes “the universal paradigm that’s gonna subsume and embrace the User Interface on all of these systems” [PC, TV and Mobile].

“In the long term what we’ll see is a web browser like IE or Chrome or Safari or any of these in the television, and the way that consumers will interact on the big screen  will be similar to the way they interact on a laptop screen. That is with a web oriented paradigm and they’ll go to or or as apposed to specific channels. So think of websites, over time, replacing channels… Over maybe 5 to 20 years.”

Full video interview after the jump…

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2 Responses to “Netflix CEO: Web browser is television's future”

  1. Talk about stating the bleeding obvious. Also giving a pretty wide 5 to 20 years is pretty safe…what on earth is this opinion worth? We all know that the TV and the Internet are merging. We have had WEBTV since the 90s and it failed because the incompatibilities between the TV mechanics and PC mechanics, software and systems – right down to connectivity…which is still the issue. Walled Gardens are required for control of those websites that potentially offer bad, unsuitable content, as well as widgets and all other items that the user will ultimately download onto the TV…because they will crash the TV and we will need re-booting and set-up and therefore input devices like keyboards and WOOHOO – Why not just throw away the TV and buy a PC to watch TV. Who needs TV Stations they will all be on the Internet and we will have just more and more and more RUBBISH to watch if we know what it is and where to find it. TV Bouquets containing endless rubbish in the form of Shopping Channels and Quiz Channels are the fillers of the Broadcast world as there is not sufficient quality to even fill the Over the Air Broadcast Bandwidth. And furthermore like HTML Pages who fester un-visited on the Internet who will clean them up, remove them and the same old, history repeating itself the crapTV that will fill the WWW – Who will police it, who will control it and who will connect their TV to the Internet and spend 15 hours trying to find something amongst the millions of purported channels that will be available. Search Engines aint the answer – no sir – To search for specifics you need to know specifics – Everyone believes we know what the content is and that we can search for it…The whole idea of drama and soap operas and reality tv et al is that we get surprisede by the stories that unfold and the twists and turns that surprise us. Once seen we can then look for it as we know what it contained and can then search…Until we all turn into mind-readers and savants we will have to be fed TV programmes, by TV channels and be surprised and entertained and funnily enough the Internet is but just a mere delivery mechanism…the need to tailor, control and deliver quality will still be a paramount hurdle for years to come and an HTML Browser is not the answer to the future of television. The answer to the future of television is some sensible discussion about realistic goals and protection of an industry that is fast disappearing up its own Internet Cable Black-Hole. P.S. I lost my IP connection for 22 days over xmas: I lost TV for 22 days…No Broadcaster would ever allow that to happen. The Telco said TOUGH LUCK…Hows that for Quality of Service.

  2. Brian Koski says:

    I recently purchased a Roku player that let's me play Netflix movies instantly on my tv with an unlimited plan that starts at only $9/month. Since I have hooked up Roku and Netflix last weekend, I have yet to watch a single show on a cable channel. I have become hooked on the HD episodes of Lost and am very happy to not have to watch any more repeating television commercials. Reed Hastings is right on.

    I am dead tired of the marketers vying for my attention. I hope to never see the Cavemen and Gecko ever again. For me, the future has already arrived. I can't wait to see more 'surfing' options for my tv.

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