Wednesday, March 17, 2010

INTERNET TV WON'T BE FREE


Who says so? (I'm reading this stuff, hoping to keep up with the fast- changing latest trends.)

I've been reading about Internet TV on CNN Money.com, Fortune Brain Tech.com, and staff writers David Goldman, Mike Copland, even Apple's Philip Elmer-deWitt seem very concerned.

I'm sort of wide-eyed, impressed when I see the numbers -- 178 million Americans watch TV online, streaming 33 billion shows, says data tracker com.

I looked up streaming, though I sort of knew what it was. And learned that it's technology that compresses audio and video signals, permitting watching and listening to them as high quality music and non jerky video.

I chewed on the question they were asking -- can the brilliant inventor-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, create a way of unplugging our current popular sources of cable TV? (Unplug Time-Warner? Fios? That's a biggie!)

It could be a very big deal for Apple -- $30 a month TV service. (I think we're paying about $90 a month now for the TV we get just in our home.) I learned that Apple's already offers $2 to $4 a month per subscriber for the major networks; $1 to $2 for a month, per subscriber for the cable companies. (What "per subscriber" means probably requires careful perusal of the small print.)

Fortune Magazine's Copeland declares doomfully, "The Apple Ipad changes everything!"

(I am not a regular browser on CNN Money, or Fortune Magazine, but why are they so worried about the Apple Ipad? Slates have been around for quite sometime, haven't they?)

Reading about their concerns makes me wonder if they're saying it to make themselves and their clients believe it? Or are they trying to get investors to shell out more money for researching newer ideas? (Arf arf! They sound like a bunch of barking dogs. Maybe in the tech world, declarations of doom, galvanize innovation.)

Furthermore, according to these Tech guys, the latest, biggest tech tool is social networking! I'm shuddering and not sure who or what they're talking about, as they go on at length, about CSCO's top customers and CIOs becoming super heros, because CIOs are enabling employees to perform great feats and cut CSCO's costs.

Hey slow down Tech guys, I muttering out loud to myself, because in my opinion, social networking is changing human-to- human socializing into cell-phonery (my term for phoney, un-real contact).

And dammit, I don't know what a CIO is, or who is CSCO? (I keep thinking it's got something to do with the blue and white can of Crisco shortening, Mom had in her kitchen.)

Damn acronyms -- it's no longer possible to gain information quickly about new things, without translating the acronyms, looking back at what I already read and figuring out AGAIN, what the alphabet letters mean. When you were little, did you ever eat Alphabet Soup? I feel like I'm gulping alphabet soup. And the soup makers keep re-filling my bowl.

I guess these tech guys are saying that in the near future, TV is going to be available on any device at any time, so get ready to pay for online TV, folks.

That's because of the big, unanswered question being asked by networks, cable companies, advertisers and technology providers: How do we make money from it?

Arf arf! Sooner or later, these alphabet soup cooker-uppers will take a long look at the simple plain folk who aren't wireless, mobile, blue tooth anything -- who just go on line for shopping, and email. Arf! Arf! So get ready to pay for using the Internet, folks.

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