Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving TV Talk

The inevitable media/entertainment portion of Thanksgiving dinner conversation this year was less about the shows and more about the devices we use to watch them on/through. 

One cousin raved about his new $35 Chromecast, another still swears by his $99 Apple TV.  Yet another, a TV Luddite, was mocked for still accessing Netflix through his kid's Wii.  (A TV Luddite when I was growing up was someone who couldn't program the time on their VCR. )  

The parents in the room shared teen iPad overdose stories and some of the preteens mentioned they only watch video content on their phones, and only then when they're not playing mobile games.

Is it any wonder TW Cable is for sale?

We are in the midst of an epic free-for-all where all previous formats of programming and models of distribution and advertising will be challenged and in many cases, cast aside.

A.O Scott summed it up nicely in a story in last Sunday's NY Times.
Equally hard to refute is the idea that we are approaching a horizon of video convergence, in which all those screens will be equal and interchangeable and the distinctions between the stuff that’s shown on each one won’t seem as consequential as it does now. We still tend to take for granted that a cable drama, a network sitcom, a feature film, a web video and a first-person combat game are fundamentally different creatures, but they might really be diverse species within a single genus, their variations ultimately less important than what they have in common. They are all moving pictures, after all, and as our means of access to them proliferate and recombine, those old categories are likely to feel increasingly arbitrary and obsolete.