Nine years after the launch of Netflix streaming and the advent of apps from early market entrants such as HBO GO, the TV industry appears to have successfully navigated through the five stages of grief evoked by the disruptive Internet age. Indeed, 2016 is the year of acceptance and an affirmation of a transition from cable to streaming TV.
The sensory overload of CES 2016 is over and most of us have made it home to appreciate the relative peace and quiet of anywhere except Vegas. As I think back on the sights, sounds and devices that I saw in the past week, few stand out as surprises. This year seemed to be one of incremental advances, rather than giant leaps forward.
There is a record store in my local village. It’s a tiny little store – technically half a store as it shares a street number with the store next door – but still, it’s there. In search of one last holiday gift a few weeks ago, I popped in to explore.
A long time ago, in a suburban movie theatre far away, I saw a little-known “science fiction” movie that changed my world forever. The movie that summer – Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope – captivated my imagination with seamless special effects, fascinating alien creatures, and heart-pounding dogfights in space, raising the bar for all of the films that followed. Star Wars set a new standard for visual f/x, but more importantly, it changed our expectations of blockbuster movies.
I know I can’t be the only one who’s noticed that children have become quieter and more well behaved while dining out with their parents. What used to be an ordeal, with the “under eights” raising a ruckus in public, has become much easier thanks to the smartphone and some streaming video.
It’s September and the pennant race is heating up here in NY. At the time of writing, the Yankees are just one-and-a-half games out of first place, and the Mets hold a commanding lead in the NL East. Over the coming weeks, more viewers will tune in to the game, and October headlines will be all about the playoffs. Meanwhile, TV industry news has been concentrated on cord cutting; as expected Q2 ’15 turned out to be the inflection point where the first sizable number of subscribers canceled their TV service. Playing off the trend toward streaming video, Apple’s annual keynote included an Apple TV app demonstration from MLB.tv. Any fan watching immediately recognized what it means for the future of the game.
There’s a flaw with streaming video that smacks me in the face every now and then. Just when I’m settling into the show of choice, I occasionally get an ugly little message that says “Loading, please wait.” I don’t like it. It reminds me that my TV viewing habits are based on a less-than-perfect infrastructure (the Internet) with varying bandwidth to the home and potential server issues along the way. More importantly, it ruins my enjoyment of the show in question.
The AT&T/DirecTV wedding is complete and the carrier wasted little time in consummating the deal. Almost immediately, AT&T launched a new TV/wireless bundle offering a 10 percent monthly discount that leverages either U-verse or DirecTV. Of course, the ‘bundle’ is not a new concept in the wireless industry or across telecom and broadband, and indeed the major wireless carriers have often tried to bundle TV and wireless together. But this one is a more serious attempt with a single billing package and, of course, it is the first time a carrier has been able to offer its own TV service on a nationwide level. Indeed, the DIRECTV merger now makes AT&T the largest TV provider in the U.S., surpassing Comcast.
This blog is for all the cable haters out there of which I am not one. I love TV.
I tend to vacation off-the-grid, leave technology behind and turn the phone off. It’s a welcome chance to focus on the here and now, as opposed to the calls, texts, emails, and social sphere that links to everyone’s activity...