Finally, Someone Gets It


This week, during an internal lecture on audio/video codecs (tracing the family tree for MPEG, DivX, H.264 and AAC for the last ten years across the consumer electronics, broadcasting and telco domains), I pointed out that electronic content distribution (driven by an increased need for timeshifting) would eventually kill broadcast TV for large segments of the consumer market.

This is nothing new, and has a lot to do with the way our lives have become "unscheduled", i.e., increasingly divergent from the classic "9-to-5 and family dinner" routine. People simply can't "veg out" in front of the TV at set times anymore, but still want to watch their favorite shows.

And, as the VCR starts to die off due to sheer inadequacy and inconvenience (when was the last time you used yours?), digital video archives (either personal or on the content providers' side) will start catering to that need.

The BBC clearly gets it, and across all forms of digital delivery, to boot.

Too bad it will be restricted to UK viewers, since Portugal is still going to try to cross the video-on-demand desert (after a couple of botched attempts at interactive TV), and I still haven't found the time (or patience) to set up a decent PVR solution.

Which I probably would have by now, if local TV stations knew the first thing about posting their program guides on the Net (or even designing standards-compliant web sites, but that's another thing).


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