The iTV Doctor

The iTV Doctor is InThe iTV Doctor is Rick Howe, who provides interactive television consulting services to programmers and advertisers. He is the recipient of a CTAM Tami Award for retention marketing and this year was nominated to Cable Pioneers. He is also the co-author of a patent for the use of multiscreen mosaics in EPG's. Endorsed by top cable and satellite distributors, "Dr" Howe still makes house calls, and the first visit is always free. His services include product development, distribution strategy and the development of low-cost interactive applications for rapid deployment across all platforms.

Questions: itvdoctor@itvt.com
@rickhowe

  • Dear Readers:   In the annals of Interactive Television Aspirations, three user experiences always come up: Jennifer Aniston's Sweater, Pizza and Travel. And in the past decade, I (like many of my readers) have tried my hand at each of those.   While we are usually able to create the "front end" of the experience, whether on a first or second screen, it always...
    February 23, 2015 - 8:51pm
  • Dear Readers: It was 1984, and I had just purchased a Honda Civic Wagon (which looked kinda like a tiny space shuttle). The dealer had a promotion which added a brand new, snazzy Sony Watchman TV: GIANT 2" black-and-white screen, and could receive all broadcast stations in a handy pocket-sized battery-powered unit. What I didn't expect is that, on my daily train ride to and from...
    February 8, 2015 - 10:11pm
  • Dear Readers: As some of you know, the good doctor sometimes puts on the red velvet suit for local community groups. Done it for years. And just for grins, I thought I share a few observations from behind the beard. In our family we have ongoing debates on the commercialization of Christmas. My wife takes the position that all the good that is done at Christmas--donations, food drives, helping...
    December 22, 2014 - 10:24am
  • Dear Readers: This is the season of OTT. To paraphrase Harry Nilsson: "Everybody's talking about it. I hear every word they're saying." And in another 24 months, all this talk will simply be the "echoes of my mind." Why? Because EVERYBODY'S GOING OVER THE TOP! The "analysts" get tied up trying to compare pricing models for the likes of HBO and Netflix,...
    November 16, 2014 - 9:14pm
  • Dear Readers: It's been a wild and wooly few weeks since we last talked, and the OTT provider segment is getting crowded. It seems that every television network family has either announced their plans, or is waiting for the right time, along with every service provider. And I expect the content producers and studios won't be far behind. HBO, CBS, Dish, Verizon, YouTube (YouTube?) and...
    November 4, 2014 - 9:01pm
  • Dear Readers: As promised in our last column, we're going to take a look at one of the creative and design shops that is creating the Over The Top experience in Europe and the UK: Ostmodern. I find it fascinating when speaking with my friends in the industry that, to a person, they all think of television as PERSONAL. There are few products in our lives about which we have such skewed...
    October 6, 2014 - 8:52pm
  • Dear Readers: My father was a brilliant chemical and mechanical engineer. When he bought a new 1964 Pontiac GTO, he was so curious about the engine that he took it apart and laid the pieces out on the garage floor. And when he put it back together, he didn't have any parts left over (a skill I never mastered...). But one thing Dad always talked about was the primary operating philosophy of...
    September 15, 2014 - 7:40pm
  • Dear Readers: At the TVOT 2014 conference in June in San Francisco, Over-The-Top delivery of pay-TV was THE topic of conversation. My "Virtual MSO" panel was packed, and one of our panelists (Paul Johnson from MPP Global) talked about their work with BSkyB's "NOW TV" OTT service in the UK. Here is a link to the video of that session: http://www.itvt.com/story/10200/...
    August 12, 2014 - 10:55am
  • Dear Readers: We all talk (some of us more than others, according to my wife), and most of us listen (same comment applies…). And in the advanced television business LISTENING to video turns out to be particularly challenging. Automatic Content Recognition companies have sprung up and then sprung leaks. Their core business has been somewhat commoditized, and everybody is looking for...
    May 29, 2014 - 10:26pm
  • Dear Readers: Everybody is racing to get into the OTT game: "traditional" service providers, television networks and third-party aggregators and marketers. And here is a shameless plug: if you want to know more, come to the good doctor's "Virtual MSO" panel on June 11 at TVOT San Francisco. And while the delivery of video OTT presents some challenges, and the licensing...
    May 21, 2014 - 8:57pm