OK, I admit it. I’m a vidiot. I will watch almost anything on TV or on the PC/Mac. I watch in real time, and I timeshift. And after spending nearly 10 years telecommuting, I’m back in the office, weaning myself away from broadcast and cable programming available in every room.
Pay per view or video on demand on my cellphone or laptop never has been top of mind for several reasons. First, as mentioned previously, I’ve been working at home, with access to 24/7 content. Second, even though I’ve followed mobile TV since it was just a gleam in the eyes of applications and platform developers, the thought of watching clips or full-length offerings on my Motorola Razr or antique Dell laptop held absolutely no appeal. Third, it’s not my generation (aside from early adopters and gadgeteers) that is slavering for the next best video experience; I’ve left that to the younger set who has been raised on instant gratification. And, finally, I’m cheap; I pay a lot of monthly cash for my cable and high-speed Internet service, and I’ve been loathe to add to that bill. However, even old dogs can learn new tricks.
Last month’s Cable Show in Los Angeles made a believer out of me. During the past year, cable operators, programmers, service providers, application developers, and hardware and software makers have made good on many of the ideas that weren’t ready for prime time at Cable Show 2009. After three days of nonstop demos, explanations, spec sheets and interviews that left me generally gobsmacked, I realized I’d missed the boat.
I want it. I want it all – starting with a new and improved program guide (in 3D, no less); more and better shows to watch anywhere and on any device of my choice (and at no extra cost from my cable provider); and speed, speed, speed. And do I even need to mention the new must-have: the iPad?
The cable industry is in the midst of an evolution, and it’s trying to toss aside any vestiges of “this is the way we’ve always done it.” It’s going wireless with a vengeance (page 24), fiber is king (page 12) and testing is a front-burner item (page 20). Where are you heading in this brave, new world? Are you learning any new tricks? Email me at email@example.com. I’d like to know.