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Old 05-15-2009, 12:00 AM
Jason Dunn
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Default Robert X. Cringely on The Future of Television

"The important lesson to learn when it comes to these competitive services is that the first three - broadcast, cable, and satellite - are all going up in cost to their providers while the cost of providing Internet service is going down. In the USA, broadcast viewership is dropping, which means the cost per viewer is rising. Same for cable where viewers are stagnant, viewership is declining (number of hours of viewing) and the cost of content is rising. Satellite has been growing marginally but that could end at any moment and it shares the same content cost increases as cable. Meanwhile Internet service just gets faster and cheaper thanks to a Moore's Law double whammy."

I always enjoy Cringely's prognostications about the future of technology, and this time he's taking aim at what's going to happen to television - one of his favourite topics. It's funny, I must be one of those odd-ball types who bucks the trend - I watch more TV now than I did a few years ago. I think the landscape in the US will transform faster than it will elsewhere - with all the IP blocking going on with Hulu and similar services, there's no "next-gen" Internet TV service available to me in Canada, and I suspect the same is elsewhere. We'll see what happens, but I've heard that Hulu is having a heck of a time making enough money to offset the costs of streaming the content - its business model is shaky. And until Hulu or services like it are seamlessly integrated into TVs or a set-top box connected to the TV, watching TV in the browser is going to be a uber-geek-only approach.

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