Icareus Blog
Products for better TV experience

Products for better TV experience

It seems that I am not the only one believing in change in TV experience. Have a look at Anthony Rose's interview from v-net.tv for example. I like the bold statement he makes about reinventing the lean-back TV, strong marketing. Fortunately he is not alone; also other companies have noticed that the TV experience needs to be something more than channel zapping. A small example is a Facebook app through which you can share what you are watching with a single click of your remote. I am not sure if this is "social TV" or "Veg 2.0", but it surely is a step towards that.

Anyhow, you may wonder how this relates to the title. As it happens, we did some soul searching at Icareus and found out that this is exactly what we are doing: Products for better TV experience. Think about it; EPG, CE software updates, data streaming and applications - all contributing what Mr. Rose calls reinventing lean-back TV. We, like so many engineers do, just kept our feet on the ground and called it “products for better TV experience.” You will be hearing more about this in the near future...

Back to 'Veg 2.0'. What we have learned during the development of more than 200 TV apps and also what we recommend to our customers is to have three phases when building a better TV experience (excluding the 243 Pay-TV channels, that’s another story, and without a good EPG a nightmare ;).

The Phases; First comes the securing of the home base. Learn what will be the business model(s), how the technology works, where to get the content etc. As soon as possible, get together friendly users and gather feedback. And DON’T ask in advance what they would like to have, they don't know. Go around and see what is popular and familiar for your market and launch that on TV too. There are some applications that are universally accepted, but the best impact is achieved with applications with local significance.

The masses come in the second phase. Give them a taste what is coming, have a limited number of apps but make sure they work! If there are technical problems or bad user experience, it is almost impossible to get the people back (especially if they are paying extra for it). A good/powerful set-top box is an essential part of this equation and it is worth spending that extra penny on it. For linear TV any 10$ low cost box will do, but you are closing the door for any future service improvements with it.

Third phase we call "daily business". At this point our customers are updating apps and content on a daily basis and managing the portfolio like any other Pay-TV bouquet. Creating a better TV experience requires work and resources. It shouldn’t be a fire-and-forget project!

When we are at the Third phase, there should be a number of 'Veg2.0' users, but as can be seen from above it will not happen over night but it will secure the ARPU.

TV is changing, not just tehcnologically but the whole TV experience is getting better, and we will be part of that change, reinventing it.


My name is Mikko Karppinen and I am co-founder of Icareus, thus been involved in every step of our history.

I have an overall responsibility of Icareus technology products, which comes with a sales budget. My background comes from the .com -boom, which I had an opportunity to witness, just while studying at the Helsinki University of Technology and working in software companies in late 90s.

The idea of this blog is mainly to share the market intel, thoughts and questions which I come across. The ten years in the business have shown me more than I ever expected when I founded Icareus, and I hope I can share some of my experiences with you.

Feel free to call or email me:

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