Of course, the idea of delivering content designed for the Web over the TV isn't new. In the early '80s, I was part of a team at Time Inc. developing an information service using teletext technology, sort of a precursor to today's Internet. Time's unfulfilled dream was to exploit its cable TV system, then the nation's second largest, and deliver content over the vertical blanking interval of TV signals. We developed an attractive product for the time--it looked sort of like the early versions of AOL and Prodigy, services that came later. But there was no mass market for teletext, and Time dumped the project in late 1983 after spending $35 million on it over two and a half years.
Still, the TiVo/Brightcove announcement reminds me that the dream of convergence of technologies is one for the ages. This time, it's no pipedream.