Director, Video Product Management
Time Warner Cable
It’s not always easy for a distribution behemoth to keep ahead of the curve on its subscribers’ viewing desires. That’s just one of the reasons TWC is happy to have Calvert in the house. He led the MSO’s introduction of multiroom DVR, and continues to push the envelope on the TWC TV apps for smart phones and tablets – the latter an area where he sees tremendous growth potential. TWC was among the first operators to launch a live viewing app for the iPad, and just updated its Andriod app to include live viewing on select devices.
What’s your favorite digital toy and why? The iPad. This will no doubt fuel my colleague’s accusations that I am the ultimate Apple fan boy, but who cares? It is truly a revolutionary device, and the growth of this category in just two years is nothing short of astonishing. I think tablets are like digital Swiss Army knives. They’re great personal media players, but the screens are big enough for two people to share. They power on instantly. They have usable keyboards so they are the ultimate TV navigator. They have cameras, so it’s also a portable video conferencing system. View a Powerpoint presentation? Sure. Once you have one, you can’t imagine living without one. Yeah, I guess I am a fan boy.
The biggest challenge with TV Everywhere/authentication is: Keeping it simple. The industry needs to work together to deliver TVE experiences that mirror the elegant simplicity of the set-top box: turn it on and it just works.
What’s cable’s biggest digital opportunity in the next year? I think there is a great opportunity for operators and networks to collaborate on synchronized second screen features for top-rated shows. The promise of interactive television has gone largely unfulfilled, but tablets and smartphones are definitely going to change that. The only difference is the interactivity takes place on your personal screen instead of the TV screen. The ability to communicate with audiences on a personal level versus a household level is the icing on the cake.
What digital strategy mistake must cable avoid at all costs? Time Warner Cable doesn’t view consumer owned consumption devices (like tablets) as something that should be “leveraged.” These devices are no different than TV sets in the current business and should be treated as such. Customers should be able to access their subscribed content on any device at any time.
What’s on your wish list for the iPhone 5? 4G LTE with a 3300 mAh battery. Wait, this is a wish list – make that 5000 mAh.
Would you rather own a flying car or a jetpack and why? Jetpack. I live in Manhattan. Flying or otherwise, I still have to find a place to park a car.