The Future Of Television.

I have this exact TV at home right now.  How hot am I?

I have this exact TV at home right now. How hot am I?

I predicted where the future of television would be in 1985.  I was just five.

My sister stole the remote control when I wanted to watch the Smurfs.  She put it on 21 Jump Street. It’s entirely possible I have the year wrong, but there’s no way in hell I’m admitting I was watching the Smurfs as a teenager.

Because that would just be creepy, right!?

Right.

I screamed to her, “you know something?!  Soon, we’ll all be watching TV in our heads.  And everyone can watch whatever they wanted.  TV will be like a hat we wear around.”

Then I put on my policeman helmet and pretended I was arresting her.

Then she punched me square in the back of the neck.

I swear.  Five years old.

Yesterday, Amazon announced that they would be releasing HD titles for their video on demand service.  You can watch episodes of television shows, movies, whatever you want.  You just have to download it.

You may think this is quite a pedestrian technology.  And, sure, it’s not just Amazon doing this.  But it leads to the greater question: Is conventional television dead?

Oh dear.  This is where you declare some mainstream medium dead because you read your New York Times and Wall Street Journal and whatever it says you echo.  By my calculations you’re not even thirty yet.  Why do you act like an old grumpy man?

How entirely hurtful.  I am one of the youngest, hippest, writers you know.  Come on.  You think you can read this shit on TechCrunch?

Actually, wait.  Don’t go to TechCrunch.

I really do have a point.

The point is, as television becomes more a la carte, meaning, we can choose and select shows we like while rejecting options we don’t, where does that leave Big Cable?  The cable companies that rely on us to purchase bundles of channels?  They depend on this type of revenue, and networks depend on us to watch commercials so they can attract ad revenue.  With the advent of on-demand content, we are doing none of these.  Which could cripple their business.

Oh well.

The future of television is in personalized content.  You may enjoy fishing shows, UFC and Nascar because you’re a hillbilly from Tulsa.  I, on the other hand, enjoy geology documentaries and Jeopardy.  Why should have the same cable package?

Now, someone needs to harness this type of customization into a social network where we can all feast on personalized content.  Maybe in the middle of watching the Smurfs, my TV can pipe in a feed from my sister telling me I’m a big fat dope and nobody watches the Smurfs at 28.

Actually, you know what?

Maybe we’re good where we are.

  • I agree. About the customization of TV into a social network where we can all feast on personalized content. Not the Smurfs.

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  • tmac20043

    as long as the only reason you watch the Smurfs isn't related to Smurfette…its cool

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  • I have the year wrong, but there’s no way in hell I’m admitting I was watching the Smurfs as a teenager.

  • I have the year wrong, but there’s no way in hell I’m admitting I was watching the Smurfs as a teenager.