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Christmas season will kick-off the end times of local TV broadcasting. Microsoft driving the technology to transmit PC downloads to TV’s 9/27/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Last50Feet, Local affiliates.
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The pace is quickening in the TV networks’ efforts to increase their profits by cutting-out their local TV affiliates as middlemen, while providing viewers with superior, on-demand access to their programming. In the past few weeks, networks have been announcing new plans to offer free downloads of fresh prime-time programming, and now Microsoft is closing the “last 50 feet” between PC’s and TV’s with software that supports wireless set-top boxes called “media extenders.” Microsoft’s hardware partners will provide these units for as little as $300 this Christmas season.

This very logical development completes the transition of TV’s from portals for viewing local TV station broadcasts to monitors through which we can plug-in cable programming, videotapes, videogames, DVD’s, the Internet and now, finally, PC’s with their downloaded content and broadband access. Since 85% of what we watch on TV is pre-recorded, Internet godfather and Google exec Vint Cerf says that while we’re “still going to need live television for certain things … like news, sporting events and emergencies … increasingly [TV] is going to be almost like the iPod, where you download content to look at later.” But, since even live content can travel over the Internet, this is clearly the beginning of the end of local TV broadcasting (over airwaves). Given the surprising acceleration of developments, it looks like broadcasting’s final sign-off will be here much sooner than anyone now thinks.

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1. TV » Christmas season will kick-off the end times of local TV … - 9/27/07

[…] gurpreet wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptFollowing announcements by networks in just the past few weeks that they will offer free downloads of fresh prime-time programming, Microsoft is closing the “last 50 feet” between PC’s and TV’s with software that supports wireless … […]

2. Nigel Barlow - 9/28/07

Interesting development Steve.

The technology now being available to close that link should mean an end to the concept of Live Tv,but I wander whether we will all want to lose that shared Tv memory experience

3. Steve Boriss - 9/28/07

Nigel, Perhaps not so much an end to live TV, but to live broadcast TV (over airwaves). Re: the shared TV experience, we have been drifting away from this for many decades. Here in the States, we have gone from a nation with little else to do at night than sit in front of a TV and watch one of three networks, to one fragmented among dozens of channels and electronic devices. Personally, I believe this is a very good thing. The “pursuit of happiness” mentioned in our Declaration of Independence is all about individuals doing the unique things that they as individuals want to do. And like founding father Jefferson would have, I believe that the new multitudes of voices engaged in debate are more likely to reveal truths and serve the personal preferences to which we all are entitled.


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