11/12/2010 7:56 AM
McAdams On: Truly Free TV
"For people who don’t care about image resolution--and most don’t--the ’Net’s where they can watch what they want when they want."
Sorry to have missed TVB at the NewTeeVee Live conference on Wednesday. Just wanted to ask if you folks are using GoogleTV or one of the other IPTV devices now making their way into the homes of early adopters?
As you certainly know, you most certainly can stream web content produced in HD to your HDTV in HD "right now," as in: this exact moment. To be clear for your readers, this isn't some future technology, and it isn't the same thing as piping a cable from your laptop to watch Youtube on the big screen, this is real HD content distribution using the Internet protocol served through a set top box hardware that Sony has already started pre-installing inside it's TV sets. From the viewers perspective, as long as it was produced in HD, web video content is now indistinguishable from "regular" TV content. And did you know that you can now shoot true 1920x1080 HD using a camera that sells for under $900? And you can rent cine style lenses -- the same ones used in Hollywood backlots -- for 100 bucks a weekend?
You might enjoy Justin Bieber, but I prefer to tune in to some of the content piping into my living room by n established IPTV channel like Revision3 or some of the new content coming out of the creative community of folks at the Web Series Network.
Needless to say, the dreck that has passed itself off as TV content for the past 20 years has turned away the vast bulk of the under 40 crowd. Sure, some of our friends might be happy to tune into CSI or the Mentalist, Grey's, Glee and SYTYCD. And all of us still watch live sports and we always will. But when 30k uniques will easily cover production budgets under $2k/month and still leave room for profits for a small time studio, audience fragmentation is inevitable, because content proliferation is guaranteed. Advertisers are drooling at the prospect of targeted ad buys and merchants are drooling at solid proof of ROI.
I get it. We all know that most of this stuff will suck. But some of it won't. Thing is, the sheer volume of that small fraction of good stuff will dwarf the broadcast/cable network model, because rather than 500 channels of nothing on, we'll now have 500 million channels of nothing on.
We will need a new UX, but the best summary critique posed at NewTeeVee Live was this: with the Internet now offering an infinite number of content choices, do we really need TV networks anymore?