Senin, 30 Januari 2012

Does New Wireless Technology Spell Doom For TV

For most of us, film and television are inextricably bound. If we hear the name of a series we picture it in our minds on a television screen. We’ve grown up with TV as the dominant delivery mechanism for film media. Of course there was the cinema before that, which is far from extinct today, but its cultural niche has changed, and far from being the only way to watch film, it is now a luxury, and one that we can bypass at our convenience, thanks to home video. So today, in the vortex of change and innovation we live in, is it possible that TV could suffer the same fate? You may wonder how on earth that could happen. After all, watching television is America’s new favorite pastime, is it not? Baseball went by the wayside years ago. 

Americans now spend close to four hours a day watching television on average. How could TV possibly fade from public consciousness? Well, it probably won’t. That is to say, that TV programming won’t. We will still have half hour segments of film we watch to entertain ourselves. But, it is entirely possible that the way it’s delivered will change. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that a more efficient delivery method for this content will emerge. In fact, it may already have. The internet, ladies and gentlemen. Now, before you start groaning, and rolling your eyes, saying, “saw that one coming,” hear me out. Of course most people are aware by now that you can watch television and movies online. This is old news, and not exactly what I’m talking about here. What I’m talking about is the inevitable improvement in speed, bandwidth, mobility, range, etc. of the networks we use to connect, and how that may one day pose a threat to the television set by drawing viewers away from it, and onto their computers. 

Now probably, if you’re aware that you can view movies and TV series on your computer, you’ve tried it at one point or another. And probably, if you’ve tried it, you’ve realized that it’s not always the best picture quality, and not always the smoothest viewing experience. There are exceptions of course, but the fact remains that how good it looks is almost entirely dependent on the quality of the connection. And with Wi-Fi or 3G, whether at home or on the go, you’re often faced with the agony of the buffering interruption. It’s terrible. But, if a new standard in wireless technology were introduced, that would change things. Enter WiMAX. Boasting speeds up to four times that of Wi-Fi, this 4G technology promises to revolutionize the way we view film media. It broadcasts over a much wider range, meaning mobility is never an issue, and may offer less signal interference, for a more reliable connection. It’s too early, of course, to sound the death knell for the television set. For now it still seems to be top dog. But don’t be surprised if the advance of WiMAX, a better stronger wireless internet, starts to change the way America thinks about film media in the not-too-distant future.

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