internet tv

Television is broken. It’s been this way for years. The solution to fix it should be simple (at least it seems so to me), but as with any changing technology, there is always pushback from those making the most dollars from the current system.

Take cable for example. I’m given a choice of one or two packages to choose from, in which multiple channels are included. But I only want 10 channels and not the 35, 50, or 100 that are included in their pre-bundled packages.

I don’t watch that much television, mainly sports (Reds & Bengals), some movies, news (on RARE occasions), and HGTV & the DIY channel. So all the others, (the Home Shopping Network, QVC, BET, etc.) are worthless to me and never get watched. (As an aside, does anyone actually watch the Home Shopping Network…or BET for that matter?)

The reason they have to bundle all the channels into a package (I think) is because if given a choice, not enough viewers would purchase these less popular channels in an individual package to warrant keeping them on air. Basic supply and demand. But when bundled together, the big companies (Insight, Time Warner, etc.) can charge more and subsidize everyone else to keep these unpopular worthless channels around.

Direct TV and Dish Network are really no different than cable. They offer a few more options and some individual channel selections, but even their most basic packages have the same bundled channels that cable has.

It’s time for a change

There are two possible solutions that I see.

A. Allow customers to pick and choose their television packages based on the number of channels they want and charge accordingly on a per channel price.

B. Stream every channel through the internet so if someone has a broadband connection, they can watch what they want, or pay the company directly to access it.

This is 2013. The technology is here. It’s time to use it. Allowing customers to pick and choose their channels is a complete no-brainer. This should have been done long ago.

Streaming TV through internet has been tried with great success already. But it’s complete adoption hasn’t caught on yet. Why that is, I don’t know. Every station has a website. They already stream clips, previews, and past episodes of shows. So why not just stream everything? You can still show the same commercials to collect the same advertising dollars. Hell, charge a subscription fee for it if you want. That’s fine. But just give us technophiles the option of how and where we want to watch.

Television networks are scared of change. The cable companies even more so. But they’re in for a rude awaking. Commercials and ads (their bread and butter) are getting nixed out because of TiVo and DVR. Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Roku, and other internet services are growing by leaps and bounds.

The internet is way more popular than TV now. How many people would rather have cable or Direct TV instead of the internet? No one I know. The internet is practically essential in everyone’s lives today. Television is not. So isn’t it time for them to adapt to what the customers want? Or are they still too blind and stubborn to change?

internet tv

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