TV over Ethernet part of larger trend

On one hand, it's really just an incremental advance - but on the other hand, LG shipping TVs that gets their content directly from an Ethernet connection to the Internet heralds a revolution.

LG is shipping "broadband HDTVs" that have embedded software for streaming movies and shows directly from Netflix over an Internet connection. You don't need a separate box - not a cable set-top box, not a DVD player. What's glaringly missing from the new TVs is wireless access, but presumably that could be fixed by another iteration of Wi-Fi.

Netflix has been offering the streaming for more than two years, but in the past, you would need a separate device, like one of LG's Blu-ray disc players, to display the content on the tube.

This is really just one small announcement in a much larger trend. Home networks are becoming a focal point, enabling all kinds of "anytime" access. You have your netbooks, your smartphones, your laptops and your consumer electronics - all of which are capable of streaming video, audio and data over your Internet connection. And they are capable of doing so directly, with no gatekeeper.

Will this change how we interact with technology? And if so, will those changes translate to the workplace?

Perhaps it already has. I've mentioned how more widespread wireless access is changing our culture, and the TV-over-Ethernet advances could be another aspect of the same shift. The changes could have profound effects on how we structure networks and how we secure networked assets.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

IT Salary Survey: The results are in