The end of broadcast as we know it…

The Doc Searls Weblog : Friday, January 6, 2006
Doc writes:
The meta-story behind Intel’s Viiv and Clickstream announcments yesterday is not just the death of TV as we know it, but the gang-stabbing of it by Intel, Apple and their new partners in the broadcasting and entertainment industries. Or, if you prefer, by the reconstituted entertainment industry, which will still be about production and distribution, but without the current channel-based TV system (which will come to an FCC-mandated end in 2009 — it was originally scheduled for 2006 — when every TV station will be required to move off its branded VHF channel and up to some unbranded UHF digital channel, by which time nearly everybody will stop watching over-the-air TV anyway, getting everything we used to call TV over cable, satellite or Internet).

Epeus’ epigone – Kevin Marks weblog
Kevin Marks Follows Up with:
In 1998, I went to work at Apple on QuickTime, and started work on live streaming. This was hard work, but interesting – making a personal TV Transmitter for anyone with a Mac, so they could use the internet for lots of people to watch them at once. Having built this technology, I started looking for uses for it, and was rather bemused to find there weren’t any.

The problem was storage again. It was always better to have a locally stored copy of the video than to try to get it over the net in real time. It just didn’t use the net efficiently, and the ‘buffering’ experience really sucked. In fact, what I realised was that live TV was a waste of time too. But now we had enough storage.

People spend lots of money on iPods and TiVo’s, whose whole purpose is to turn live streams into files so you can pause and skip them, moving the storage into their houses, and pockets. This personal storage is why Podcasting makes sense.

Downloading is always better than streaming, and Edited better than Live, except in one instance.

That difference is when you have 2-way interaction. When you can speak back to the person at the other end, either via iChat AV or Skype, or just by having a textual back channel to a conference.

That’s where Live is needed.


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