Streaming Video: An Inevitable Rise to Domination

As a kid, I was never allowed to watch TV. “It’ll rot your brain!” My mother loved using those cliches to prove her point.

While I look back and approve of my parents’ decision (I have a firm belief this is why I excelled in school and sports), it’s also probably a factor in my adulthood obsession with media. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that TV and film are now part of my daily routine (even as I write that, I hear my mom’s words echoing in my head) but for me it’s about studying, not just watching, movies and shows. And what I’m studying are the choices (production, art, acting, airing, etc)  that are made on an episode/season/series/network/movie/genre basis.

Ok, that’s a pretty broad description but my point right now isn’t about what goes through my head when I watch Cougar Town, it’s about a conclusion I recently came to: streaming video will rule the world. Soon.

I have my LG TV to thank for this. While originally the 42-inch-HD-LCD-internet-ready-work-of-art seemed slightly excessive, I’m now hopelessly in love with this piece of technology for one simple reason: it streams Netflix….directly from the Internet.

Before you go all “uh whateves, my laptop can do that” on me, think about this: the video streams from the Netflix server directly to my HDTV. That’s it. There is no down-grade video rendering necessary in this equation (which is often the case with laptops, iPads, etc). There are no cables needed. The movies and shows look almost exactly like blu-ray. And they take less than 30 seconds to load. That fact alone is totally awesome! Of course this can all be attributed to the processing power of the TV, but still – the technology is available. There is no going back.

This week Hill Holiday is putting on TVnext, an event where industry leaders will explore the future of TV. They’ll be streaming the conference via Ustream for anyone to watch (see my point?).  A few weeks ago they asked Twitter what the future of TV is; My opinion? 1 screen. 1 power cord. Everything you could ever possible want to watch or research at your finger tips*.

Blockbuster is bankrupt. Network television as we know it is on it’s way out in favor of on-demand programming. Basically every new piece of technology that’s created is internet ready. It only makes sense that the next stop will be in our TVs as well. Video as we know it – from our favorite TV show and latest Johnny Depp film to Xbox’s newest game and CNN’s breaking newscasts – will stream directly to us when we want it and where we want it, on one piece of tech.

Why do I believe this so passionately? Because why WOULDN’T we want all that? I, for one, hate the fire hazard of cords that lurks behind my entertainment system. As Boyd Langdon simply puts it in Dollhouse: “The technology exists. It can’t be uninvented.”**

Of course, this brings up the issue of advertising’s future, but that’s a whole other can of worms.

*Wireless internet and router not included.
**Stay tuned for more about my full-fledged fascination with Dollhouse.

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