Previewing Streaming Media West 2011

We take a quick look at what's in store at this year's Streaming Media West conference.

Over the next two days, I will be at the Streaming Media West Conference in Los Angeles, getting schooled in the fast-moving world that is online video.

Old-media bigwigs and new-media luminaries will abound, talking about stuff like the emergence of platforms, the evolution of entertainment, the pivoting of strategies, and, of course, the corporate battles that underlie all of the above. Meanwhile, hordes of software vendors will be promoting their latest technology in hopes of becoming the next big thing.

Perhaps at the crux of it all will be mobile software, which will surely be on display at the conference. With tablets and smartphones now firmly planted in the mainstream, every media publisher seems to be racing to create its own app, believing it could be a key to the future. Maybe we'll run into a few there.

Don't forget Google TV. As you might have heard, the search giant has significantly updated its living-room platform by giving it the Honeycomb treatment. This not only means a much-improved user interface, but also a steady stream of Google TV-optimized applications courtesy of the Android Market. Hopefully we'll get a look.

And what about the content creators themselves? With Google apparently doubling down on YouTube by commissioning some original content, doesn't it seem like they deserve a bit of the spotlight too? Maybe some nifty distribution apps will be unveiled. Or perhaps some useful audience development tools will be discussed. Whatever happens, I'm guessing these creative types will be the topic of much discussion at the conference as well.

The reality is, whether you're a streaming-savvy cord cutter or a more traditional couch-and-TV kind of guy, streaming media affects you. So, it might behoove you to stay tuned to possibly find out how.