TV in the Cloud

Fall is here and so are all the great new fall season premieres of the television shows you love. I don’t really think that it’s fair to call them television shows anymore considering they aren’t just for your TV anymore. The Internet has brought us content never before dreamed of to devices that a few years ago were just science fiction, and the network broadcasters are joining the media revolution. I am a very busy guy with lots of interests and a young family with 3 active little boys. Needless to say, downtime with my wife in the same room just watching some TV is a rare and precious thing. But I love TV. I love its ability to tell stories and bring millions of people together. And so does my wife, even if our choice of content differs slightly. Several years ago, my wife gave me the gift of a DVR to help us deal with those differences of opinion. Since the boys came along, we haven’t watched a scheduled TV program — it is always recorded. Sometimes we forget to set the week’s programs to record and we miss something. To the web we go. In the past, most TV programs were only available on the Internet through less than questionable sources. Not true in most cases today. Internet programming is here‚Ķmostly.

OK, so NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, USA, and Syfy are, in most cases, our channels of choice for primetime programming. Last fall, most of these networks had some of their shows available for viewing online and some shows were available as quickly as one day after it aired through traditional media. Wow, that’s great I thought. I could even go back and re-watch the last few episodes in case I forgot something or just wanted a mini-marathon of my own. Over the summer, virtually all of the summer programming my wife and I enjoyed became available online. Checking out these networks sites it seems that they are going to continue to expand what they make available to stream from their sites over the web, complete with commercials. Some of these networks even have apps for tablets and smartphones that aggregate all the content together for convenient viewing right from any device anywhere in the world. How cool is that! Don’t get me wrong. Traditional TV is not going to be going anywhere for a long time, but the Internet is continuing to grow into our one-stop shop for all media content — both news and entertainment.

I have been thinking for a long time about “cutting the cable” and doing away with the transitional TV video service our local cable provider offers and switching to only internet. If this trend of networks providing streaming digital content continues there will be more people who are willing to drop their video service and watch TV online. What will the cable and satellite providers do then? I even expect to see networks creating streaming content apps for devices like the Roku media hubs as “channels” for providing both live streaming and on demand content. The technology is here, and the future is coming. It’s almost like getting to live in one of my favorite science fiction shows!

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