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Internet Video, DVRs, and The Future of TV | Anti-Social Musings

Internet Video vs the DVR and Cable

Mark Cuban, in a recent post on his blog about Internet Video vs DVR, gets it half right. His point is to reiterate the power of the DVR as a driver to keep consumers interested in traditionally delivered video. But I ask, why?

He says, “Forget the Internet!” But I think he’s missing the point and confusing “internet” as meaning “watching videos on your computer.” Don’t think of the Internet as a collection of web sites. Instead, think of the internet as nothing more than a delivery pipe that doesn’t care about the receiving mechanism, then the question becomes what are the advantages of delivering content via IP technology over the current status quo of cable delivery?

We are already seeing the internet radically change related industries. Think how different gaming is now that there’s XBOX Live. For many people they couldn’t imagine playing games at home by themselves anymore. Why not create XBOX Live-like experiences but for watching TV?

So, I agree with Mark that the Big Media companies still don’t get it. And I agree that Big Media should embrace DVR and Sling-like technologies wholeheartedly. But I think there’s a lot more to it. Programming needs to advance, and the internet provides a better, open platform for doing so.

As I said before in my post about multi-linear storytelling, we need to find ways to allow programmers to create more compelling content. Big Media shouldn’t forget about the internet, they should just stop worrying so much about “web sites” and focus more on how to take advantage of internet technology for real-time delivery of advanced programming tools. Whether it’s social connections and simultaneous viewing, or multi-linear story options, the nature of content delivery changes drastically when you move from a traditional cable simulcast delivery model, to a true multicast delivery model that allows each person watching a program to have a customized viewing experience.

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