I just finished solving another absurdly minor technological crisis, and again, I find myself wondering at the disconnect people feel from the world or the real and the world of the electronic. Perhaps I speak the language and others don’t, or perhaps I approach the circuit board with a jaundiced lack of expectation, but one does not simply walk into Mordor, apparently, without ones lovable local geek.
All the words are looking like I spelled them wrong. I don’t know what it is.
Last night I watched a re-run of House. Okay, not so much of a re-run as a download. But it ocurred to me that television isn’t going to have an easy go of things in the new era of widely available broadband. In fact, people will never accept paying for television unless weaned off of it in a satelite/cable-like war of mental attrition, over which time the revenue stream of the studios will either dry up or be found somewhere else. Clearly, I think, it’s time for television producers to abandon the dream of HD-TV and such technological toys and move their focus to alternate modes of distribution. For instance, no everyone appreciates HD-TV, but soon everyone will have to pay for the associated costs. Why is this? Why are people who frankly have no real desire for image quality going to be bearing the burden of HD television? It’s obvious that a great deal of population is willing to watch scratchy compressed videos off the web (and on their iPods, for crying out loud); why not deliver their content to them on the web? And why not for free? But, you say, how does one make money doing this? Three ways:
- Unobtrusive advertising.
- Product placement.
- Elimination of middlemen.
There are ways to advertise while a show is ongoing: translucent throbbers are one way. There are others. Product placement already happens often. Make a business out of it. And what are the broadcasters but middlemen getting in the way of content production? How many times has Fox screwed the pooch by cancelling your favorite show? How many times have you wondered what sort of crack this or that network is smoking/snorting/mainlining? Get rid of them. In an internet content-on-demand broadcasting system, you (as a customer, and as a studio) are freed from their insidious grasp. Cable did this a little. The internet can finally be the nail in the studios’ content-production coffin.
So write a lightweigh, cross-platform client that does one thing: it plays TV over the internet. It doesn’t have to be on-demand, even; you could use the BitTorrent protocol and distribute the bandwidth load. And since people have already embraced adware, make the best adware ever. Have the code audited, because people don’t trust content producers. Have the ads show up as translucent throbbers, or if you must, Google-like text ads in the corner somewhere. Something like that. I wouldn’t mind it.
I want a coffee right now. I don’t know why. I had just one this morning, and there’s cream sitting right beside me. Seems a crime not to put that cream to good use.
The clothes I had in the washroom are gone. Thanks, cleaning lady. Was that necessary? Was it doing any harm to the two people using the washroom? Nope. Again, the goal of being clean supercedes the more important goal of being functional. Prioritise, people. Please.