But, here's what I really want: A Tablet PC on my coffee table that is hooked up via either BlueTooth, WiFi, or infrared to my home entertainment center.
I can't stand choosing programs on my TV. The remote control is just such a bad place for interactivity. A Tablet PC would make so much more sense for choosing shows that you want to record and all that.
Some things that a PC would support very well? Well, Maryam and I travel every two weeks so we need a way to tell our TV -- remotely -- to record shows. Plus I'd love to share recordings with myself when I'm remote and away from the TV. For instance, we were gone for two weeks over Christmas. I would have killed to see West Wing and other shows. My brother-in-law doesn't have a PVR and we were never home during prime time.
And we haven't even gotten into all the futuristic stuff like home-automation systems (I'd like to see a video of everyone who comes to my front door, or be able to turn on and off lights remotely via the Internet). If I have a Media Center hooked up to my TV I'll also be able to move video from my TV onto my SmartPhone (Greg Reinacker, founder of NewsGator, for instance, has the same phone I do and he showed me that he had moved West Wing onto his phone and was able to watch that on the five-hour plane ride across country).
Scoble misses a number of things here, as does Searls. People will happily hook up computers to their TV's - in fact, they already are. What they won't hook up is a PC, or anything that's even vaguely like a PC. TiVos, ReplayTV, the rebranded PVRs being shipped by cable companies? Those are all computers. But unlike a PC, they are single purpose, consumer grade equipment that's easy to use. Do they get infected with viruses? No. If they crash, do you have to intervene? No (yes, I know that you have to call support on occasion. See this post, for example). When people hook something up to their entertainment system, they expect simplicity - plug the cables in, turn it on, and go. The last thing they expect is the madness of the PC. See here for a longer rant on this subject.
Scoble misses something else though - the ease of moving stuff around. He says he wants to be able to move shows from his PVR to his phone. First off, most people won't want to watch TV on a phone. Never mind that though - there's a simpler problem, and part of it is with his boss. The first ReplayTV's that shipped had a feature allowing transmission of content across the internet. It's mostly useless, due to the upstream bandwidth limitations that most of us have - but it was a glimpse of where things could have gone.
No such luck though - the happy folks at the MPAA couldn't pull the sticks out of their posterior lobes fast enough to realize what fair use means, and made sure to shut that avenue down. Now Gates is sucking up to those fools, and making sure that it won't ever be possible unless it's MS equipment all the way down - and even then, the DRM restrictions attached will force you to offer DNA samples into the front of your Media PC before you can do anything - assuming that it hasn't acquired a trojan horse that kills it by then. So Scoble wants a PC attached to his TV so that he can copy content via the net? Go talk to MS' lawyers to see why we can't do that already. If they can break away from their power lunches with the MPAA long enough to be bothered, that is.