Future of “TV”

  • Posted: 04 June 2012 12:41 PM

    Blodgett may have screwed his ‘rep’ pretty bad 12 years ago, but I think he’s got this right.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/tv-business-collapse-2012-6?op=1

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  • Posted: 04 June 2012 01:16 PM #1

    I think he’s absolutely right, the days are numbered for the “network” TV model.

    My video consumption has changed considerably over the last several years. At home we have a TV, but it is only a “TV” insofar as that’s what the manufacturer called it. In practice it’s a giant monitor hooked up to an Apple TV.

    We have DSL for Interent, but no cable or satellite TV service. There isn’t even an antenna hooked up to the TV. Everything that we watch comes from Netflix, iTunes, or the library of DVDs and VHS that we already own, with the occasional Redbox rental just because it’s so darn cheap.

    If someone gets me hooked on a TV series I’ll either buy the DVDs or purchase it via iTunes, and watch it on my own time. I wouldn’t dream of signing up for cable just to see a show on some arbitrary schedule that the network decided to set.

         
  • Posted: 04 June 2012 01:20 PM #2

    David Nelson - 04 June 2012 04:16 PM

    I think he’s absolutely right, the days are numbered for the “network” TV model.

    My video consumption has changed considerably over the last several years. At home we have a TV, but it is only a “TV” insofar as that’s what the manufacturer called it. In practice it’s a giant monitor hooked up to an Apple TV.

    We have DSL for Interent, but no cable or satellite TV service. There isn’t even an antenna hooked up to the TV. Everything that we watch comes from Netflix, iTunes, or the library of DVDs and VHS that we already own, with the occasional Redbox rental just because it’s so darn cheap.

    If someone gets me hooked on a TV series I’ll either buy the DVDs or purchase it via iTunes, and watch it on my own time. I wouldn’t dream of signing up for cable just to see a show on some arbitrary schedule that the network decided to set.

    How’s the Netflix streaming on DSL?  I have avoiding, even though it is less money, because of concerns about DSL speeds vs cable.

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  • Posted: 04 June 2012 01:44 PM #3

    It works fine for me. Quality is pretty good. I’m sure it would be better with a faster connection, but it’s good enough that I don’t think about it as I am watching. It doesn’t hiccup and only buffers for a few seconds when I first start the movie.

    iTunes downloads are another story, because those don’t scale to your connection speed. I often have to wait 15 minutes to an hour before it will start playing since the files are so huge. So as you might guess, I don’t watch stuff from the iTunes store nearly as much as Netflix.

         
  • Posted: 04 June 2012 03:45 PM #4

    The final frontier…

    http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/04/xbox-360-video-gets-35-new-content-providers/

    If microsoft can start pulling enough weight to put ESPN on the Xbox 360 I would think Apple has to be close.  Would you rather have a game system that provides tv? Or a tv that provides a game system?  Yet another business that is a wireless controller and app store away from Apple destroying.

         
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    Posted: 04 June 2012 06:22 PM #5

    I think this is what the next Apple TV will be…not a television set.

    http://allthingsd.com/20120604/apple-television-airplay-and-why-the-ipad-is-the-new-tv-apps-platform/

         
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    Posted: 05 June 2012 12:26 PM #6

    What he says makes a lot of sense. I’m in the same boat as he is. Our cable subscription covers a hundred or so channels for >$120/mo. However we only regularly watch about a dozen of them. More and more I find my wife watching her shows on line. I’m starting to watch most of my programs on line as well because the networks I used to watch a lot have changed. Much of TeleToon/Cartoon Network is now live not animated (I mean seriously CARTOON is in their name). Discovery, National Geographic, and History are now full of movies and “reality” shows. They do this because they are cheaper than actual documentaries and well done scripted programming but that’s not what I want so why am I still paying for them?

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  • Posted: 05 June 2012 02:32 PM #7

    It’s definitely dying, but all of the internet supplied content doesn’t service two big areas (for me at least): local programming and sports (live or taped). Most of our kid show watching has moved to Netflix streaming through AppleTV, but I watch local news everyday and my TiVo will soon be filled up with Euro 2012 matches. I tried watching World Cup 2010 matches over ESPN’s websites when that was live but the experience was atrocious, even on the fast connection here at work. We spent all of this money on awesome TVs and sound systems and now they are trying to sell us on watching stuff on laptops and iPads? That experience still sucks if you want to watch something with more than one person, so they need to concentrate on serving stuff to TVs and not mobile devices. I don’t think our internet infrastructure in the US can handle all of that content moving online either; at least not yet.

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  • Posted: 05 June 2012 02:45 PM #8

    heh. I should have read the article first before I flapped my yap. :)

    One thing he didn’t mention though, is if the traditional TV network model of revenue through advertising dies (or is severely weakened), where will the money come from to produce new content? Will the days of the big show die as well? No more Lost, no more Breaking Bad, etc? Who will foot the bill for a show; maybe start charging Netflix and Hulu more? That will just get passed on to us. Maybe something like Louis CK is doing with selling his own shows online in Hi-Def for a small amount will become the norm. the arguments as presented are all about distributing current content, but if the cable companies and networks are dead, who will pay for the new stuff?

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  • Posted: 05 June 2012 05:06 PM #9

    FlipFriddle - 05 June 2012 05:45 PM

    One thing he didn’t mention though, is if the traditional TV network model of revenue through advertising dies (or is severely weakened), where will the money come from to produce new content? Will the days of the big show die as well? No more Lost, no more Breaking Bad, etc? Who will foot the bill for a show; maybe start charging Netflix and Hulu more? That will just get passed on to us. Maybe something like Louis CK is doing with selling his own shows online in Hi-Def for a small amount will become the norm. the arguments as presented are all about distributing current content, but if the cable companies and networks are dead, who will pay for the new stuff?

    It’ll come from the same PEOPLE that fund Network programing.  They will just change their revenue model to direct distribution/billing, and not rely on the network (which takes a cut) to reach the viewer.

    In a model like this, where the network isn’t buying the finished product, the financiers won’t be inclined to put out the volume of crap (lowest common denominator) they do now.  I can see them addressing the viewer with discretionary spending (not the Netflix crowd) that will pay a premium (ala HBO, et al) for quality programming.  Anyway, that’s my hope.

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    Posted: 05 June 2012 09:04 PM #10

    +

    The last time I watched anything on my actual TV was the Super Bowl, and that was just for the commercials. I’m 100% iTunes for both movies and TV shows. I love discovering a great new TV show that I’ve never seen before that has at least a whole season available for download, like when I discovered Firefly and lost a LOT of sleep over the next four days.

    iTunes, lately, has given me a bunch of great new discoveries: Revenge, Once Upon a Time, Ringer…all highly recommended. (And all with a bit in common, IMHO….)

    iTunes lets me watch what I want to watch WHEN I want to watch. I don’t see me going back to the reglarly-scheduled-broadcast anytime soon.

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  • Posted: 05 June 2012 09:16 PM #11

    The banner suggests a TV theme-

    http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/05/wwdc-2012-banners-where-great-ideas-go-on-to-do-great-things/

    The PBS, CNN, and Netflix apps. Also, the Facebook app is prominent.

         
  • Posted: 05 June 2012 09:31 PM #12

    gliderplane - 06 June 2012 12:16 AM

    The banner suggests a TV theme-

    http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/05/wwdc-2012-banners-where-great-ideas-go-on-to-do-great-things/

    The PBS, CNN, and Netflix apps. Also, the Facebook app is prominent.

    Hmmm. Do you think that means apps might be finally coming to Appletv? The channel as app?

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    Less is More (more or less).

         
  • Posted: 05 June 2012 09:43 PM #13

    FlipFriddle - 06 June 2012 12:31 AM
    gliderplane - 06 June 2012 12:16 AM

    The banner suggests a TV theme-

    http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/05/wwdc-2012-banners-where-great-ideas-go-on-to-do-great-things/

    The PBS, CNN, and Netflix apps. Also, the Facebook app is prominent.

    Hmmm. Do you think that means apps might be finally coming to Appletv? The channel as app?

    That’s what I was thinking. Of course this is overanalyzing things.

    Now if one were to really overanalyze things, one would note that CNN is owned by Time Warner, which also owns HBO, which is one of the few major channels that could afford to work with ATV without risking their business model or significant fear of reprisal from the cable companies (at least that’s what I’ve read). Now that would be something.

    Edit: I see from the next set of photos (http://9to5mac.com/#jp-carousel-191839) that the Hulu and TED apps are also prominent. Maybe this isn’t so speculative.

    [ Edited: 05 June 2012 09:51 PM by gliderplane ]      
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    Posted: 06 June 2012 01:08 AM #14

    Gregg Thurman - 04 June 2012 04:20 PM
    David Nelson - 04 June 2012 04:16 PM

    How’s the Netflix streaming on DSL?  I have avoiding, even though it is less money, because of concerns about DSL speeds vs cable.

    I’m one of those who has untethered myself from cable, and I did it two years ago.  I had to make some sacrifices, but not many.  I am also stuck with DSL that gives me about 2.5 Mbs download, though it’s supposed to be higher.  Answer to your question, Netflix is fine at that kind of speed.  At their end, they have software that adjusts to varying speed, so you experience a slight change in quality (usually unnoticed), rather than interruptions for a re-buffer.  Anyway, for $7.99 per month, and no contract, you just can’t go wrong.

    Caveat: I watch everything on my iMac rather than on a TV, so I can’t tell you anything about how DSL translates to the boob-tube.

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    Posted: 06 June 2012 12:30 PM #15

    I am not sold that there are enough people who want to dump cable.

    People love the option of flicking thru channels until they find something they like.  Yes in the end they may only watch a few shows, but that option is important to most.

    Our family spends about $80 for cable.  I spend another 20-40 a month on shows that I don’t have access to or missed thru iTunes.

    If we were to only buy the shows that we watch on cable we could easily spend over $120.  So there is not cost savings.

    I do see apps coming which serve as channels. 

    The Apple TV will be a computer which also works as a TV.  The interface will make it special not the ability to buy shows.