You’ve probably read about Second Life, the online virtual world with its own currency, real estate and trading. This week it got a TV station! The virtual TV station has a 2000-meter tower--obviously no concerns about the long-term effects of RF on virtual beings or falling towers in Second Life--that is a tourist attraction for customers visiting Second Life. Of course, it has a news show covering events in Second Life.
TV Station Island was built by Web-Star and TRANS COSMOS Group in Japan to offer companies that don’t have an island in Second Life a way to launch trial events or campaigns. Many companies are now using Second Life to test products and services in a low risk virtual environment before launching them in the real world. Visit Forbes.com for a recent article about marketing on Second Life.
The blog “Ambling in Second Life” has a review of TV Station Island with a picture. It shows the building, part of the tower and a helicopter and balloon-landing pad. It also looks like there is a big parking lot and an event stage. There is a large video screen on top of the studio building.
Second Life could be a decent TV market--the home page shows almost 8 million residents with $1,437,532 spent in the last 24 hours. There is an exchange for converting Second Life Linden$ (L$) to and from US$. After musing about virtual TV engineering, I wonder if real world TV could be useful as a link to the virtual world. A low bandwidth digital channel or, more likely, a cell phone video service could provide a way for Second Life residents to keep up with what was going on in their virtual world while away from their computers and perhaps draw more people into Second Life campaigns and product tests!
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Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.
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