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Old November 9th, 2007, 07:30 AM
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Default Re: OT: Even More Proof That PC\'s Are Dying


TV will be split up into on-demand programmes
Unlikely to occur; if it was all on-demand, etc., it would be far too easy to avoid commercials...and as you no doubt know, they can't allow that to happen. Quite possibly it'll be on-demand, but AFTER it has already been broadcast in a (relatively) conventional fashion.

But how easy is it to cut out commercials? You are ignoring the possibilities offered by technology, which is what the music industry did when mp3s appeared on the scene. You can't blame them, I suppose, they are no more able to predict the future than anyone else, but by now they should have realised that new technology has made the old way of doing things obselete. TV faces the same choices.

The technology to give people what they want (TV on demand without commercials) is there. It's in use today, but it isn't yet the norm. TV companies have to decide what to do about it. If they continue as they are with their fingers in their ears, more and more people will adopt this technology, and eventually advertisers will realise that noone is actually watching their ads any more, they will withdraw their funding and TV will be in a crisis.

So what can they do? They may try to introduce some form of DRM to prevent people stripping out the ads but DRM is a doomed, broken, failed technology that cannot possibly work. Ever. It just is not possible to hide information from someone when the whole point of that information is to send it to that someone for them to view it! All DRM has to fall back on is more complex DRM (which will always get hacked, and leads to monstrous follies like Vista) and legal bullying, which is not only a PR nightmare, but also not particularly successful. Hopefully the TV industry will learn from the failures of the music/ film industries and look at new business models before entrenching themselves in DRM. I don't know what the altrernative is, but there has to be one, and some bright spark will invent it sooner or later, if they haven't already.

To summarise, TV will have to change. Advertising will have to change. People with tivo/mythboxen/PVRs/DVRs and so on already have all their TV broken down into discrete, on-demand, ad-free chunks. As more and more people adopt that technology, the TV and ad people will have no choice but to facilitate it, but in such a way that they actually still get paid.

...although the method of distribution will probably move mostly- if not completely- from raw radio signals to internet.
Again, I'll disagree. There are lots and lots of places in this world that do not have wireless internet access...even in 1st world countries. For that reason, radio will stay in it's current form, or perhaps migrate fully to the satellite radio form, but I doubt it'll be all or nearly all broadcast via the internet.
Eventually, there will be either a huge leap forward in wireless that will allow fast access absolutely everywhere, or the first world will have to pull its finger out of it collective arse and actually start digging holes and laying down some fricking fibre optics.

The only thing holding it back is state-owned and state-sanctioned monopolies on the various national telecoms networks. The UK and US are particularly badly pwned in this respect. As long as BT and AT&T don't have to face any actual competition, they will continue to charge more for crappier services on crumbling copper networks built by public money and handed over to them by corrupt politicians. Give it another decade and maybe we will wake up to the fact that people in Korea have 100meg broadband at home (yes, I said 100meg, right now, today) and that the global digital marketplace is all happening in Asia and the rapidly-developping "third world". Maybe then public and business and industry will demand that something be done. The public engineering projects to create the new digital infrastructure will be on a scale not seen since the late 1800s, when train networks and sewage networks and water networks and the like were being built on a scale and that proabably dwarfs any investment before or since. This boom will drive down the costs of laying fibre to such an extent that even remote farmouses in the arse end of Alaskan nowhere will get direct cable to their living room.

I'll (predictably ) also disagree here. I think that the wholescale migration from something like your 'conventional' computer to mobile devices simply won't happen very quickly, if at all.
Umm... I never said it would. Read all that stuff I wrote about having a giant screen in your lounge and another one integrated into your desk. I'm not for one minute suggesting that everything will be packed into the mobile phone. That's either very very stupid, or very very clever but only if you happen to be Japanese.

As you can see, I personally disagree with the 'death' of the PC; it will have it's place for a long time yet I think. Then again, who really knows what the future will hold!
The PC won't die, it will just fragment its functions into a range of pretty little PC-based boxes with "THIS IS NOT A PC" written on them and drool-proof menu-driven interfaces. The PCs and PC interfaces we see today will be relegated to the office, and to geeks.

Most people don't care about most of what a PC can do, they just want a handful of basic functions without the hassle of actually owning and maintaining a PC. This is what the industry will give them.
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