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Tune in vs Available

October 2005

What you always here on the commercials is on the order of: "Tune in Thursday at 9-8 Central". Things like Tivo have been around for a while now, but we are still in the Network Control paradigm. If they have their way it would stay like that till the end of time. But more and more technology is creeping in. One of the things that I'm waiting for is when networks start saying "Available starting at 9-8 Central". In the ideal situation, once a show has been broadcast the network (or whoever owns the rights to the specific content) would then make it available for whoever wants to consume it in what ever way they want to. Think of it as Network backed video podcasting. This is better than the Tivo approach which is a solution that you have to have in your living room. It moves it out to the world at large so that you can access content even if you don't have the channel it was originally distributed on. Of course, this already happens. Albeit on a small scale and without the network's permission. Take a show like Battlestar Galactica. It airs Friday nights on Sci-Fi. Thanks to a combination of its geek overtones and the fact that it's one of the very best shows out right now, you don't need to get Sci-Fi to watch it. As long as you are willing to wait a few days you can pick up DVD quality versions of the show on the net. There is added benefit in that those versions generally have the commercials removed. This is where the networks need to get smart, if the would make versions available that they produced, they could populate with commercials. Sure most folks would fast forward thru them, but in general they would still be there. General consumers would take what's available easily instead of trying to find hacked versions where someone removed the commercials. (Incidentally, there is some research to suggest that people actually have a higher commercial recall when they fast forward thru commercials than if they play thru in real time. Turns out that when people fast forward they have to get very consciously involved in what they are looking at instead of just tuning it out.) Anyway, I hope that in the future we can do more with our entertainment. All the technology to allow it is place. It's the old school thinking of the content producers and advertisers that are reducing what we can do with it. With luck, some tech kids will grow up and take over a small studio and get it setup the way they would like. -- cagegories -- tagTV

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