Saturday, March 24, 2007
In general, the public has put up a fair amount of resistance to the idea of hooking up a computer to the TV, but there are a number of factors at work now that could change that. One of them is the increasing popularity of Internet video. This can be attributed in large part to the increasing prevalence of high speed Internet connections, the growing number of devices that can digitally record video, and the increasing ability of computer software and hardware to handle video applications. Although the public still generally doesn't have the patience to download full length feature movies or even normal TV shows, watching short news clips and amateur videos that have been downloaded from the Internet is relatively common.
Another development that's blurring the lines between computers and televisions is the increasing computerization of television equipment. Over the past decade and a half television and computer technologies have gradually been converging. It was first seen with the introduction of digital TV back in the early nineties. Digital TV used computer technology to produce pictures with a clarity that the older analog signal simply couldn't rival. Then in the late nineties, the DVD player came about. The DVD player was a big step in the right direction when it came to merging the two technologies. After all, it wasn't at all uncommon at that point for computers to have optical disc drives and then optical discs could suddenly play movies too. Since then there has been an explosion of television technology that takes advantage of computers including digital video recorders which have hard drives, CPU's, and even operating systems closely related to Windows and Linux.
Now it seems that the computer industry has given up on the idea of physically putting a computer in the living room and instead is concentrating on devices that can transfer video from the home computer to the TV over in home networks either wireless or wired. If this technology functions as promised it may create a new era in home entertainment where people may bypass the trouble of TV service providers and fixed subscriptions by downloading and paying for only the TV programming that they want and watching that programming whenever they want. If this happens, it will turn the TV industry on its head.