Good Enough!

A blog about "good enough" things - for those who don't need, can't afford, or don't care about the "very best".

Friday, May 27, 2005

Further television thoughts...

So, Congress is debating giving networks until 2008 to completely cut over to digital from analog television. While I like the display of high-def television, I think by 2008 no one will care whether it's "broadcast" digitally. IPTV, or television sent over Internet Protocols, will be a major competitor to broadcast and cable by then.

Here's my thought on how it will go:

First, more and more people jump on the broadband wagon, mostly via cable modem as opposed to DSL but the method doesn't really matter.

Second, Tivo and media PCs are set up to receive content via an Ethernet connection Tivo-to-Go pretty much enables this already. So does BitTorrent, and there are others.

Third, the inexpensive "TV-out" cards you can get have s-video, DVI, etcetera as output . Bypassing the tuner provides a picture on an analog set that's "good enough" (you knew I had to get it in there!) for most people. HDTV output is already appearing, too. Possibly instead of adding a card to your computer there'll be a "converter" - wireless or cabled, but you plug it into the component/s-video input of your TV, the other receives output from your computer.

Put it all together, and you have time-shifted and space-shifted television where people can watch what they want on the schedule they want, much like Tivo (or EXACTLY like Tivo if Tivo jumps on this method) but the middleman of the cable company or broadcaster is eliminated.

The method of paying the content creators is yet to be determined: will we have ads and product placements embedded in shows, or will we subscribe to shows we want for a per-show price? Will we get Yahoo!TV Unlimited for $10 per month?

I don't know for sure how fast this will happen, of course, but I do know it is already happening, it's just a matter of which media companies will survive it.