2009-01-09

Not missing TV that much.

A few weeks ago there was a pop followed by a ticking noise and the distinct smell of fried electronic components in my downstairs living room. My ancient 17" CRT TV died after years of use. We still have a plasma TV upstairs that works perfectly well, but during the cold months we spend most of our time in the living room that has the fireplace. As a result we haven't really watched TV since christmas.

And you know what? I don't really miss it.

I've made the observation many times before that traditional TV has become increasingly irrelevant. As content becomes available via more convenient delivery mechanisms, traditional TV hasn't really kept up. There are only two real reasons for watching TV these days: news and the occasional live events.

In the past year I've moved to watching news on my iPod. I sync video podcasts to my iPod and watch the news before going to sleep in the evening. While walking to work in the morning I usually listen to audio podcasts that cover industry news. In particular Buzz Out Loud (I used to listen to This Week In Tech, and although I still download episodes, I don't really listen to them anymore unless I have exhausted all the other podcasts I follow. TWiT is such an over-rated show and you get tired of listening to Leo Laporte's love affair with his own voice and the endless navel-gazing).

As for live events, well, the Formula One season is still 76 days away and because Formula One Administration still live in the past, I won't be watching any of the races live in the upcoming season. The only way to get live coverage of the races here is to install a satelite dish and sign up for some extended package of TV channels, and I really don't see the point of doing that. I guess F1 is going to lose what little audience it still had in Norway and I don't expect that FOM are going to care. Seriously, do people still think we live in the 1980s? Come on!

I will most likely get a new TV for downstairs, but when I get around to shopping for one, the emphasis will be on a TV that works well with a computer -- one that has fairly high resolution and an appropriate set of connectors. I am thinking about perhaps getting another Mac Mini to hook up to it so I can use it to watch video podcasts etc.

As for traditional TV -- if the baseline cable service that is available in the building went away, I am not so sure I would miss it. TV really doesn't have all that much to offer anymore. There is just so much crap on TV that I don't want to watch and when there is something on that I would want to watch, it is constantly interrupted by commercials or it is aired at a time when it isn't convenient for me. Frustratingly, the TV companies aren't catching on and I think that will be their downfall. There will be plenty of opportunities for companies that do get it to do business in the coming years.

In the meantime, let's hope the content distributors understand that they need to sort out international distribution or there won't be a market where they can sell their stuff once they get their heads out of their asses.

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