Friday, July 19, 2013

The Future of Internet TV and What to Expect

Technology is evolving at a gallop, and it is highly likely that before long, TV and Internet will no longer be two separate entities, but become part and parcel of the same package.

Already, more and more TV and radio stations are transferring music, shows, movies, news and so on onto the Internet. While at the moment, most of them complete this transfer after shows were shown on regular TV, much of TV is already accessible life and in real time via computers and/ or early Internet TVs. This is particularly the case with news stations, coverage for sporting events, and so on.

Streaming TV shows, movies, news, YouTube videos and more is already possible on just about every Internet enabled device under the sun. Desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smart phones and who knows what else can all be used to watch your favorite soaps or movies, as is the latest generation of TVs. Logic dictates that these two elements of our daily lives will ultimately be united into a singular communication and entertainment centre, so to speak.

Already, the large screens we see on the walls in 'Sci-Fi' movies, alternating between acting as communication devices and providing entertainment, are edging closer and closer to reality. Even my trusty old computer, which at almost three years of age is already very much 'old hat' allows me to watch a movie one minute and communicate, complete with live Web cam images, with distant relatives the next.

As technology continues to race ahead, there is no doubt that before long, TV screens will turn into something resembling giant iPad screens. One can only hope that either voice recognition improves sufficiently to dictate e-mails and other text without having to go back and put right what was 'misunderstood', or necessary keyboards will survive being dropped repeatedly if you leap out of your armchair to answer the door and forget they are on your lap.

Joking aside, it is an inevitability that TV and Internet will eventually become one. Whether it will suddenly become a must for everyone (like switching from terrestrial to satellite TV in the UK) is a different question. Hopefully, when TV and Internet become an inseparable single unit, service providers and governments will remember that not every one can afford to keep up with the latest technology at the drop of a hat.

When the UK switched from terrestrial to satellite TV, people were forced to upgrade TVs and invest in satellite boxes, like it or not. Without this investment, from one day to the next, there was nothing left to watch. Let's hope this does not happen when TV becomes totally Internet-dependent.

How long it will take for the Internet to completely integrate with TV is uncertain, although there are indications that this possibility is not too far in the future. It is also impossible to say how exactly this integration will ultimately be implemented. The one thing that is sure is that it will eventually come to pass. Anything else would be defying logic in every sense possible.

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