Chair of the Federal Communications Commission Newton Minow said:
When television is good, nothing—not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers—nothing is better,” he began. “But when television is bad,” he warned, “nothing is worse.
And boy is he right! TV programs are always changing even season to season you can get good shows and you get bad shows gracing our TV – nothing new here. What is new is how we are consuming TV program. It’s changing in transformational ways. The concept of beaming TV signals to be displayed on a TV via “boxes” is disappearing day by day. Also changing is the “conceived value” of existing traditional services. Let me explain the “conceived value” bit first because it leads on to my point of how we consume TV. @lukejr pointed out to me a couple of days ago that you can get a Combo Receiver that will receives Free HD Satellite TV & DTT and can act as single personal video recorder (pause, play, record) for 143 euros ex-vat! I was gobsmacked at how cheap it is. So for 143 yoyos you get the usual sat FTA and the Saorview channels.
|1 RTÉ 1||46 CBS Reality||91 STREAM-5|
|2 RTE 2||47 CBS Reality+1||92 STREAM-6|
|3 TV 3||48 Zone Horror||93 T7 STRM-0|
|4 TG 4||49 Zone Horror+1||94 T7 STRM-1|
|5 RTÉ News Now||50 Film24||95 Community channel|
|6 BBC 1 NI||51 True Ent||96 Vintage TV|
|7 BBC 2 NI||52 True Movies||97 Record TV|
|8 BBC HD||53 True Movies 2||98 Al Jazeera Eng|
|9 BBC One HD||54 movies4men||99 France 24|
|10 UTV||55 mov4men+1||100 Russia Today|
|11 ITV1 HD||56 movies4men 2||101 PTV Prime|
|12 Channel 4||57 mov4men2 +1||102 Abu Dhabi TV|
|13 Channel 4 +1||58 BBC ALBA||103 PCNE Chinese|
|14 FIVE||59 BBC PARL’MNT||104 Create & Craft|
|15 E4||60 S4C||105 The Active Channel|
|16 E4+1||61 S4C2||106 Body in Balance|
|17 More4||62 Luxury Life HD HD||107 QVC|
|18 More4 +1||63 Fitness TV||108 Thane Direct|
|19 BBC Three||64 Horse & Country||109 Travel Channel|
|20 ITV2||65 Wedding tv||110 Travel Ch +1|
|21 ITV2+1||66 Propeller||111 JML Direct|
|22 ITV3||67 Information tv||112 JML CookShop|
|23 ITV3+1||68 BET||113 Ideal & More|
|24 ITV4||69 BET +1||114 Shop on TV|
|25 ITV4+1||70 Food Network||115 price-drop tv|
|26 Film4||71 Food Netwrk+1||116 Entrepreneur|
|27 Film4 +1||72 Controversial tv||117 BBC 1 London|
|28 BBC NEWS||73 The Vault||118 BBC 2 England|
|29 Sky News||74 Chart Show TV||119 BBC 1 Wales|
|30 CNN||75 NME TV||120 BBC 2 Wales|
|31 CNBC||76 Flava||121 BBC 1 Scotland|
|32 Bloomberg||77 Bliss||122 BBC 2 Scotland|
|33 Euronews||78 Scuzz||123 ITV1 London|
|34 CBBC Channel||79 DanceNation TV||124 STV|
|35 Cbeebies & BBC4||80 Lava||125 ITV1 Wales|
|36 CITV||81 Clubland TV|
|37 POP||82 oMusic TV||Radio|
|38 Tiny Pop||83 Brit asia tv||1 RTÉ Radio 1|
|39 Tiny Pop +1||84 Channel AKA||2 RTÉ 2FM|
|40 Kix!||85 B4U Music||3 RTÉ Lyric FM|
|41 PopGirl||86 STREAM-0||4 RTÉ Raidió na Gae|
|42 PopGirl +1||87 STREAM-1|
|43 jazeerachildren||88 STREAM-2|
|44 CBS Action||89 STREAM-3|
|45 CBS Drama||90 STREAM-4|
The site in question is TVTrader.ie and I probably will be buying one of these boxes for the folks as the analog signal will be turned off soon enough..
So that’s a lot of channels – admittedly some are absolutely crap but you get about 25 watchable channels. If we compare it to the basic Sky package @ 23 euros a month (that’s 276 euro each year) you’ll find that it match’s a lot of the Sky channels. What you don’t get on Sky is the HD channels without paying for the HD pack. (I know you can tune the FTA channels manually on Sky.. it’s just a pain to get to them via Other Channels!). Once you do the comparison you have to question the value of the basic product Sky is providing.. is it worth it when a ‘free’ version is available?
So we can conclude the cost of receiving TV is decreasing (it ain’t really free). Another thing we always knew is TV/Video is data hungry however data costs are falling so this problem will eventually go away. Another fact is the rise of devices capable of receiving TV. If it’s got a screen and has a data connection then it’s feasible to think it can receive a TV feed, notice I’m using feed now instead of signal because that’s what I believe TV signals is going to transform into.
This transformation is very similar to the transformation that voice went through in the past. Once upon a time it was unthinkable to be able to be tele-communicate with someone while 37,000 feet above the ground and while traveling at 880 km/h. So why can’t we be able to watch our favourite show on our own personal TV device while crossing the Atlantic? We’re not there yet but it’s coming.
I just saw an ad for a DVD rental provider who is beginning to switch to streaming movies instead of renting DVDs – it’s becoming evident our TV viewing behaviour is changing. We are moving away from devices that sit under and are connected to our TV and becoming accustomed to having TV on demand. Just like the voice transformation we are moving towards a tether-less world – a world where TV can be displayed on any device with a screen and data connection. It’s TV but not as we know it Jim.
Companies providing TV have realised this and started showing tv programs via different feeds – laptop, PC, mobile, tablets. Apple and Google of course are in the mix and it will be really interesting what feathers get ruffled when they roll out more solutions. We don’t need to look far to see great local Irish companies developing solutions in getting TV feeds on just about anything with a screen – I’m looking at you @askehill and @davidconde who provide the magic behind the www.magnetwebtv.ie solution. If you haven’t checked out this free site ..what are you waiting for?
This area is a real hot topic but a lot question (not to mention technical questions) still need to be answered like how to solve the copyright issues? What’s the story with paying ‘TV licences’ if we don’t really watch TV on traditional TV’s? I for one would be glad to stop paying that tax!
I’ve noticed myself in the past year I watch more TV from online sources because it’s just more convenient. Will the TV be replaced by the laptop? No. Will our habits change? Yes. What’s the next thing that’s going to happen .. I’m not sure.. but I can’t wait to find out!