The Future of Cable TV (and Satellite TV)

While on the board of my local telephone company I pleaded with the other directors not to allow the digital video service (a money pit) to ruin the company. It’s bad enough that people are ditching land lines and the company would have nothing to do with selling cell phones.

Broadband is the future, of course they wanted no part of the stimulus money there, either (too many strings). Give me a million or two dollars to save my company and I’ll provide the lanyard for the strings, thank you very much.

This was posted today over at Yahoo! Finance, I won’t post the link because the links always go dead in a few weeks.

“SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google Inc. believes it has come up with the technology to unite Web surfing with channel surfing on televisions.

To reach the long-elusive goal, Google has joined forces with Sony Corp., Intel Corp. and Logitech International. The companies unveiled their much-anticipated plan for a “smart” TV on Thursday during a Google conference for about 5,000 software programmers.

The TVs are expected to go on sale in the fall. Pricing wasn’t immediately announced.

Google wants to turn televisions into giant monitors for Web surfing so it can make more money selling ads. The company generated nearly $24 billion in revenue last year, mostly from Internet ads displayed on computer screens.

The demonstration of the new technology didn’t go smoothly, though.

So many people in the audience were using the conference’s Wi-Fi network that Google ran into repeated problems showing how its technology is supposed to toggle seamlessly between the Web and television programming. Google finally had to plead with the attendees to disconnect their smart phones from the Wi-Fi network.

Once it got enough bandwidth, Google was able to conduct a series of Internet searches in a drop-down box that appears at the top of television programs. The search results pointed to Internet videos and other content related to the television program on the screen.

A telecast of a sporting event can be shrunk into a small “picture-in-picture” box so a viewer can look at the statistics or other material about the game on TV.

Viewers can also make search requests by speaking into a remote that runs on Google’s Android operating system.

Sony will make the TVs, which will rely on an Intel microprocessor. Google will provide the software, including Android and the company’s Chrome Web browser. Logitech will supply a special remote control and wireless keyboard.

Other companies have tried to turn televisions into Internet gateways with little success during the past decade.

But Google and its partners believe they have developed a system that will make Internet TV more simple and appealing.”

This is the future and I actually think it’s better (as opposed to drinking soda pop out of a can instead of a bottle, which is NOT better; and a plethora of other ways life is not as good as it once was).

More choice is good; the satellite companies are now running ads in place of one line of an already limited show guide, and cable companies are raising prices into the stratosphere.

Are you old enough to remember when paying for Cable TV meant no ads at all, that was the point in paying for it?

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