How many times you have turned on the TV, only to find that there is nothing good on it. Unless you are watching during primetime, there is nothing worth spending your valuable time. Invariably you keep flipping channels and end up settling for something half decent. The problem is that, networks have shows on a pre-defined schedule, which works for them. However, it doesn’t always work for the individual who has to schedule his/her life around it. From top of my head here are some issues with the Cable/Satellite broadcast TV model.
- Timing on the network’s terms not the consumer
- Shows compete for the time slot, which means that the consumer looses if he/she has to pick one
- Consumer pays for items he/she doesn’t watch. This one frustrates me the most as I don’t watch over 90% of the content and I am sure lot of people are the same way.
- HD coverage is still spotty. Location is always an issue. Although this is getting better
So, what do I to work around these issues. With the Internet, there are multiple options on the table and I want to move towards one of those. Here is my ideal TV watching experience:
- All the content (shows) available when I want on my TV and not on my PC. I paid over $2k for my 50 inch plasma, I want to use it versus watching it on a sub 20 inch screen
- All shows available for rent or purchase
- I am a big advocate of the “Pay Per Use” model and would like that to be implemented for TV as well
- It’s only fair to pay for what you watch, versus paying for 90% of the nonsense you never watch
Such a model will allow me to watch TV on my terms and around my schedule. I will also end up saving money as I will only pay for what I watch.
In order to make this happen, I am going to switch over to Apple TV entirely. Yes there are multiple options in the market such as Roku and Vudu. However, I have Apple TV for sometime and am using it for this effort. I have also installed Boxee (on Apple TV), which allows me watch additional content from HULU (Fox and NBC shows), Comedy Central etc. With both these services I can pretty much get acces to all the TV content I care about. Apple TV also let’s me rent movies, which is great. Boxee is also planning to hookup NetFlix, which will allow me access to additional titles. Gizmodo and LifeHacker have great posts on how to set this up and other cheaper viable options.
Now, what would I loose with this approach? All LIVE content, especially sports. I don’t care about news on TV much as I catch all that on the web anyways. However I would definitely miss sports. Frankly we still don’t have an IPTV infrastructure from any provider, which can offer this over the internet. So, I have decided to use a HDTV capable antenna to grab the local channels off the air. Most sports are on these channels anyway.Yes, in this case I will have to schedule my life around the broadcast times. By the way i am still hunting for a good indoor antenna. Suggestions are welcome.
All in all, if this process succeeds I won’t be tied to any cables (pun intended) and will pay for what I use. It remains to be seen if I do save money with this approach or not as the shows on Apple TV are still pricy for my liking.
In conclusion I think this is the furture of TV anyway. People have busy lives these days and the model will have to evolve to meet their needs. You can also choose to call it TV 2.0.
Let me know what you think about this post. Do write your suggestions and ideas about the changing TV landscape.