television revolution

I found the Atlantic Monthly Article "The Revolution Will Be Televised," by Michael Hirschorn, to be my favorite of the suggested readings. Hirschorn's perspective as a media mogul who dealt with the music industry's transition from record to digital sales, offers an interesting perspective.

He says of television, that it too will encounter the challenges of the music industry, declining sales due to online services, that will threaten the survival of TV broadcasting as a medium. However, he sees more hope for television then he does in the success of traditional record sales.

For starters, television has more structural control, given the data needs to download television online, that people don't enjoy looking at a small computer screen, and online video services are clunky. Although technological limitations exist, he argues they will soon disappear, and TV must prepare for that as a medium and adapt. Hirschorn sees a future for TV. His solution is "make TV more like the Internet".

But I am skeptical. MSN Web TV, a box that extended some basic web/computer features to the TV, failed miserably. Perhaps the lesson there is people go to each, the computer and television for different reasons, and desire them to be separate. The much more applauded efforts have been going in the opposite direction, television on the computer. Services like iTunes, Hulu, ABC Online all show the same programming as on TV, and as a bonus offer limited or no commercials. Technically its much easier to give a computer new features then a TV, so that may in the end be the deciding factor of what prevails, the need to purchase new equipment.

I agree with that it will come down to hardware, but I wonder why technology that allows computers to share monitors with a computer monitor and a regular TV hasn't taken off. Microsoft makes a version of windows that allows your computer to act as a media hub where you can use your computer like normal and like a TV. Maybe Microsoft just sucks at advertising.