The future of TV.

Posted by Mark on Mar 6, 2010 in Digital, Tech

I love technology. I only employ people who are passionate about technology. We are in a time when technology can help us to work better, to work smarter, to improve the environment we live in, to travel less and to communicate more. In the last 10 years we have seen a move from some people having broadband, to everyone having it. We have seen mobile phones become more numerous than people are. Everyone has skype, so a video conference with the other side of the world isn’t special anymore, it’s just normal. Physical media is becoming a thing of the past, so the CD, the Minidisc, vinyl etc are irrelevant.

MiniDisc logo

The only physical media that makes sense at the moment is blu-ray, as it allows the large amounts of data that are required for 1080p Hi Def playback with full dolby 5.1 surround sound, as our broadband networks are not quite up to streaming that yet. I can see it coming though. Take a look at the Vimeo HD channel and you’ll see that you can quite easily stream high quality content over your broadband connection, and it looks and sounds great.

In the next 5 years, i predict that traditional terrestrial television will become obsolete.

Broadcasting really only works when there is a small volume of content available and large numbers of undiscerning viewers. (undiscerning historically because they have so little choice).  In the future, you’ll be able to decide that you want to watch programs on any subject for as long as you like. Sky, Virgin, the BBC, all the main US networks and content repositories like Vimeo and Youtube will allow users to categorise content and tag it with keywords which means that the ability for anyone to find the content that they are interested in becomes easier and easier. The only problem at the moment is that 99% of the content that is user generated is utter rubbish. Have you tried watching Youtube for more than 30 minutes? You become frustrated at the number of 60 second low res mobile phone clips which are neither well lit, well shot or well structured, and are overlaid by thrash metal. Not my idea of viewing pleasure. i want to be able to find good content, easily and fast. At the moment i am at the mercy of what has been on Sky HD in the last month, but i can’t see the broadcast and record locally system lasting much longer… I look forward to being able to watch Hi Def content on whatever subject i like whenever i like…  I just need a way to filter out all the UGC 320×240 camera phone videos of some peasant trying to burn his rear tyres off overlaid by thrash metal…

Shame really, i liked physical media, i particularly liked the MiniDisc and the ZipDisc, may they rest in small shiny pieces.

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