December 24, 2011

My Bright Idea #13 - The Next Generation of The TV



My Bright Idea #13 - December 19, 2011
This "My Bright Idea" post is the unlucky number "13", but I think the idea may already be in the works with Apple's rumored TV project.  I think the next generation of television should change from the standard "over the air" style setup and be more like on-demand via high speed Internet.  This would mean you watch what you want when you want, without filling up your DVR or missing an episode of your favorite show due to a signal, DVR, or scheduling issue.  Logistically, I see the scheduling of shows and their episodes looking similar to today's setup, with an "episode air time and date".  This would be the "release time" for the shows' newest episodes.  But watching the episode would be completely different.  Instead of watching a show at its schedule day and time or setting up a timer in your DVR, this on-demand style set up would allow the viewer to stream the episode after it's release time.

Also, because the networks and producers of television shows need to make money, advertisements would be embedded in the stream and/or pop-up at the top or bottom of the screen, or before the stream started.  With advertising profits shrinking because of DVRs,and their commercial skipping or fast-forwarding features, this streaming option would force the commercials to be played, similar to Internet streaming now.

The hardware would need to be ready to grab a stream of the available shows (similar to Netfix's streaming setup), as well as, grab the over-the-air signal for live viewing.  The menu system would need to be similar to a TV guide, but with fully functional search features, including shows and their past episodes.  Each network could still have their different stations, as well as, local news and information specific to each network. While live viewing or searching a particular networks "channel" ads profits would benefit the particular network. The menus could be set up in such a way that each network can have the list of all their shows, combined with lists of all the available seasons and episodes, and even suggestions and social media elements for discovery options.