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The music industry is finally beginning to realize that they need to re-think the way they do business.  The popularity of the internet, combined with people’s unwillingness to pay money, has changed the way people want to listen to their music.

Perhaps it’s time the television industry began to re-think the way they do business.  The change in the way people watch television began before the internet, when the video cassette recorder became cheap enough for most families to own one.  They could record a show and watch it when it was convenient for them.

The digital video recorder brought this a step forward with the ability to record more than one show at a time, and to allow people to rewind, pause, and (to a certain extent) fast forward in a show that was currently playing.  Being able to rent a movie on demand, without having to wait for a scheduled playing, is also changing us.

The television of tomorrow would not receive broadcasts from the air, or satellite, or cable.  Not the way it does now.  It would be connected to the internet.  There would be no channels to surf, only programs to select.  You would be able to watch any show, at any time, regardless of what region of the country it originated from, or even from different countries.

The studios would be able to track the popularity of their shows better just by watching how many times the show was accessed.  They could also tell when people lost interest.  They would be able to structure their advertisements  better. They could even, with a bit of programming finesse, make it so that the commercials could not be skipped over. The downside would be, of course, bandwidth.  If a really popular show, like the Super Bowl, were shown then how many people, realistically, would be able to watch it before the whole thing bogged down?

Consumers would get just about everything they could want.  The ability to watch a show whenever they wanted, or re-watch it at a later date, or watch shows that were discontinued, from a different country, in different languages.  There could even be perks, like opting in to watch live shows without being censored or cut.  If Bono went on a cursing spree, you could hear it.  If Janet Jackson wanted to flash a boob, you could see it.  All this and the studios wouldn’t need to worry about the FCC bearing down on them.  On the flip side, there could be broadcasts of the same live event that could be censored and edited on the fly so it would be guaranteed to be family safe.

Maybe there could even be a time when the old shows could be stored digitally and be able to be watched again.

Let your mind go free.  What would you like to see in the future of television if such a device were brought out?

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