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TV is the next consumer electronics battleground

Steve Henn Dec 6, 2011

Steve Chiotakis: Microsoft is revamping its XBox Live today. Trying to turn what began as a gaming console into a premium cable box to compete with the satellite and cable companies. Apple’s planning to do the same thing next year by selling its own brand of television set.

As Marketplace’s Steve Henn reports from Silicon Valley now, tech giants are looking to take control of your living room.

Steve Henn: Interactive TV is the next consumer electronics battleground.

James McQuivey is a consumer products strategist at Forrester Research.

James McQuivey: There is enough at stake here — remember this is four to five hours a day for the average adult in the United States that they spend with the television.

Americans spend billions on their TVs, whether on their cable bills or streaming movies. The networks earns billions more selling ads. Tech companies want a piece. They’re fighting to convince movie and TV studios to let them stream more content online.

McQuivey: And remember, every single one of these studios could be bought and sold by Apple, Google, Microsoft even, and that’s a really, really tough position to be in as a content provider when you think content is king. But in reality, these companies are superior — they are the emperor.

And how Americans watch TV is changing. McQuivey says folks want to watch what they want when they want it — on any device. Technology can make this happen, and it might just transform what we all think of as a big dumb box.

In Silicon Valley, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.

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