Will Web HD kill T.V.?

December 14, 2007

Since the explosion of online video a few years ago, there’s been much chatter about whether (or when) web video will kill traditional T.V.  My stance has always been – ya right!

With HD, the chorus is growing a bit louder. The suggestion is that it will be a lot easier for people to get HD content on the web instead of through their television service. Why, because on the web it could be free (better system cost put aside).

What many fail to realize is user behaviour. Most people turn the T.V. on after a hard days work, when exhausted, or for background noise. Here’s the pattern of an average T.V. user:

1. Come home exhausted

2. Plop down on the sofa

3. Turn on the T.V.

4. Shut off the brain

Until someone can figure out how to get web video (no matter what resolution) to the T.V. screen with minimal, or no effort on the part of the user then people will be watching T.V. the same way we have been since the 50s. Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google haven’t figured it out yet (yes Apple TV is dead because no one wants to connect, disconnect, have a box sitting in their living room).

The answer could be to transmit wirelessly from the computer to the T.V. so that I can watch what I want how I want. Or, better yet, plugging the web in directly from my wall jack to the T.V.’s ethernet port. Then broadcasting rights, ads, geography all being worked out (wishful thinking) we’ll really see the web content quality race become something to get excited over.

The exciting thing is that people are innovative and things are always being created. The digital world continues to impact our everyday lives and one day, one way or another, T.V. as we know it will change for the better.