In the not-so-distant future TV as we know it, will cease to exist. This is going to have huge ramifications on the whole of human society, or at least the so-called ‘wealthy’ countries that sit in front of the ‘magic-story-box’ religiously everyday. I say ‘so-called’ because we obviously measure wealth in terms of material gain and not internal peace or gratitude for life. TV was an incredible addition to our collective reality. However, we are in the ‘Information Age’ and this means that the ways we do things as a species are changing faster than you can say, “Humans humorously hunt for humble hints at how to have more happiness.”
The coming of the Internet spells the end of the television era, and this could also mean the end of years of walking around with mindless advertising jingles in your head. Thankfully, as TV shows are already putting episodes on-line these hard-core advertising techniques may soon disappear altogether. TV on the Internet means many things for the viewer. As the show is coming straight to you instead of through the old channel medium, you can have more control of the show, with elements of video, like pause and rewind coming into play.
Watching a show straight through without commercials sounds like a godsend indeed. TV websites like pinoy tambayan will still need corporate sponsorship for promotion elsewhere, so the concept of ‘product placement’ that has already come into play will most probably evolve further, especially in the case of International companies whose products are available universally. Hopefully these ‘placements’ don’t go too far from reality thus taking us metaphorically back to times of ‘canned’ laughter and obviously contrived dialogue.
Someone will have to figure out what to do in the case of a person wanting to watch an American show when living in England or another foreign country. Your Internet Service Provider may choose to integrate local advertisements into the TV program, as the American commercials won’t be relevant to the viewer overseas. TV-On-Demand (paying for individual shows) may also become one of the main viewing options.
The main bonus in having television on the Internet is the idea that we will have more control over our lives. Instead of having to watch a show at a designated time that your channel decides, you will now be able to watch what you want, when you want it. No more missing shows, having to tape episodes, or worrying about your kids seeing something that you feel isn’t suitable. The watcher becomes the ultimate controller of viewing reality, so theoretically life becomes easier.
Just because there will be less channels to choose from doesn’t mean there will be less to watch. On the contrary, there will probably be more and more shows and the chance for you to put your own show out there on a web site means much more variety. Broadcasters may keep producing groups of shows on websites, but there will surely be much more competition from producers who work on their own.