It has finally come down to it.
There are now more televisions in the average American home than there are people.
CNN is reporting on a Nielsen Media Research report indicating that there are 2.73 televisions versus 2.55 people in the typical home.
Where before there was barely one TV set in the living room of select American households, the television quickly became a necessary standard. Then cable/satellite television came along and it too became the standard. Now, high-definition television is about to become the broadcast standard.
What’s more; you can now watch television in the bedroom before you sleep, in the bathroom while you bathe, in the kitchen while you eat, in the car (hopefully not) while you drive, on the bus while you ride and on the airplane while you fly. And yes, it’s still in the living room, but the modern living room is fast becoming the home theater room.
There is no better indication for the merger that is coming between Internet and television services than the amount of money being invested in televisions lately versus the amount of money being lost by internet service providers, once the gatekeepers of the luxury that it was to be “online.” According to Neilson, teenagers and young adults have been splitting their time between Internet usage and television watching, which begs the question as to how these devices and services will integrate effectively.
The number one issue, similar to blogs and new media versus newspapers, is amateurism. YouTube shows us that anyone with a $19.99 webcam can make their own video production. Internet Television would have two main streams of consciousness if you will; the networks and “regulated” mediums and the amateur/independent productions. To that effect, two separate networks works in principle. One network is “corporate” media that may be regulated and controlled, but you know what to expect, much like traditional television networks today. The other network would be what we basically now as the Internet today, unregulated, unauthenticated and raw.
I am not talking about the proposals to create two different networks with different bandwidths and speeds. The networks should be equal in their speeds but distinct so that the viewer clearly knows if they are watching their local ABC nightly news or an independent podcast of current events.
Let’s face it, there’s a good reason why not everyone is allowed to broadcast on cable television. Cable television provides a (usually) professionally presented experience that we have come to know. Thus, you leave that regulated network as a separate entity, and continue to allow the vital free-enterprise world that the Internet has become alone, with the knowledge that what we should always consider the source.
We are quickly getting to the point where we can stream high definition audio and video signals with no latency. This is vital. The Internet must be able to provide the same or better quality experience than current service offerings.
The result? No more cable box and a new generation of home theater pc which would be an integrated digital video disk (dvd/blu-ray/hd-dvd) player, personal video recorder, audio/video receiver, Internet-connected video player and personal computer.