If television becomes obsolete.

Last week was a mad rush to the finish. Sorry I didn't do any updates.

I've had a couple conversations lately where I or someone around me has casually said, "Television will become obsolete." Nobody has offered any further explanation orally, so I thought I'd expand my thoughts here.

I think I first need to clarify that television, as we know it, will become obsolete. There will certainly be shows but I doubt they will be delivered in the same manner. The ability to DVR and fast-forward has decreased the value of television to advertisers. To remedy that, television will move towards an on-demand system where viewers choose their own shows that are sponsored by one advertiser at a time. We have that now with on-demand channels that have limited offerings and online where television shows stream from network sites. Advertisers and viewers both benefit from this delivery. Why can't every show be like that? Seems like shows would be viewed more if people could try them out on their own schedules. I'd be interested to see which shows survived this Darwin approach.

But that's just thinking in the short-term. I'd like to see all household media come into one place, the place where the television used to be. Could the "television" now run off the internet so that it was actually a type of computer screen? Could you run security off of that, choosing different parts of your home to monitor, making sure windows were locked and lights were out? Could you choose news segments, skipping through the weather report to find out how alligator sightings will impact your weekend? How about picking your own sponsors - your given a list, you have to watch at least two ads, you choose? What about YouTube? 

It seems like a few of these are happening - my parents' caller ID comes up on their TV screen. And my Wii runs the news and weather. My computer lets me choose segments and shows. There are a few on-demand channels. But it could definitely be better. All of these technologies could be combined to cater to the individual and help advertising become more effective.

Television will not be the same and I probably couldn't sit here and tell you how. But I'm excited to find out.

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