When I was a kid in the early 90′s in Australia we had 5 analog free TV channels. These channels had big audiences because there was nothing else to watch except VHS tapes. DVD’s hadn’t been invented yet and home internet access was a few years away.
By the end of 2010 I’ll have 15 free digital TV channels to watch as well as DVD/Bluray movies and tv shows and the ability to access countless hours of video content via my 10mbit Internode ADSL2+ connection and Google Android smartphone running Telstra NextG.
The model of limited video content to watch on a handful of channels has been shattered and replaced by a multitude of options.
The audience has fragmented into viewing video content on Digital TV, Cable or Satellite Pay TV, DVD, Bluray, Youtube on a Computer/TV/Mobile, Video on Demand delivered via the Internet/Cable TV/Satellite, Mobile TV on a Smartphone or Tablet, Personal Media on home networked storage and much more.
Future of TV and Watching Video: Options in Australia
One trend is watching multiple screens at once. While not everyone will watch 3 screens at once like the photo of me below it’s likely more people will be splitting their attention between their TV and mobile phone screen or Laptop and Mobile phone screen.
As a freelance technology journalist I’ve been able to investigate this general area of the Future of TV and How We Watch Video and will continue to do so in the future.
These are some of the video delivery systems I’ve tested or been briefed about so far. Over time I’ll try to review as many as possible in depth.
Illegal TV and Movie Downloads + USB Drive File Sharing
These are the elephants in the room. The rapid rise in internet broadband download quotas and internet speeds has resulted in piracy becoming much easier and faster. Large storage capacities mean its easy to swap hundreds of TV shows with friends through USB Drive File Sharing.
Future of TV and Watching Video: Audience Shatters Into Million Pieces
If the free to air TV channels and content creators like movie studios want to retain a big enough audience to survive in this brave new world where the audience is shattered between many video watching platforms they’ll have to be present on as many platforms at once and make the experience of paying for and watching video content so easy and frictionless that people won’t bother pirating it.