I thought this research spot from Hill Holiday, an advertising agency in the States, was exceptionally interesting.
They persuaded a group of Americans from varying social backgrounds to give up their paid cable TV boxes and try out one of the new direct TV models, including XBOX, Apple TV, Boxee Box and more.
The feedback was almost universally negative. Loading times and availability of content, as well as the ease (or disease) of third party software installation were all mentioned.
There was one statement that unified all of the participants, and I think it comes back to the Paradox of Choice.
Most folk, when they decide to watch TV, do so with a mindset of seeing what’s on, and making a choice from what is live and available before them.
The mistake these platforms seem to be making is that placing a consumer in a space where they have unlimited choice as to what they want to watch has a counterintuitive result. Rather than perfectly meeting their every need, these platforms trap users in decision inertia by forcing an active role in the decision making process.
It might make for a much healthier America if people give up trying to decide and maybe head outside for some exercise, but I’m not sure that’ll sell many boxes.