Genie, Hopper, Joey, Roku, AppleTV, Amazon Fire, Cable, Fios, all these way’s to watch TV, and yet we are left unfilled.
Americans want to come home after a long day, flop on the couch, and watch our favorite shows. This could be a sporting event, our favorite drama, or maybe we fill the evening with movies. One thing is for sure, as a society, we tend to fill our primetime with television.
TV started with one program, one station, and it has grown to hundreds of stations and thousands of programs (which makes me wonder why there never seems to be anything good on TV). Then came the best invention since the TV—the DVR. This device changed everything; finally we were able to watch our favorite programs on our own watch. The DVR became our own personal “channel,” filing programs we loved ready to be watched when we were ready to view them.
It was not enough for this hungry TV eating monster of American people. We wanted to be able to record and watch MORE! (I believe the first time we even realized we wanted to watch two programs at once was when Survivor was still new and on at the same time as the last season of Friends) So, our DVR’s hard drives grew, and so did the number of tuners that were built-in, allowing us, in some instances, to record up to eight programs at a time. Yikes.
Still we yearn for more. We yearn for freedom from the cord.
More than 4K, 8K, ultra-uber TV, consumers want a way to just pay for what they watch, not for the millions of other stations and certainly not for the package-priced ‘deals’ that involve a home phone line and internet.
Some are trying, Netflix’s has not only provided us with all seasons of Breaking Bad and other great series, they began to produce their own stellar shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Apple allows you to purchase individual shows or entire seasons, often while the season is happening. There are others, but no one place for everything. Few have found success in cord cutting with quality programing, but the masses still wait for an answer.
What will the future hold? I believe it will be software—an interface, which will set us free. We will tell this interface what shows we desire, and it will search multiple platforms to find the show, then give us options on a way to view it. Maybe you have basic cable, so Sharktank will live in your DVR ready and waiting when you are. It would live happily next to House of Cards, instead of us needing to go in and out of these devices or networks to find what we truly want. Want to catch the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy and you’ve already cut the cord? The show would pop up on your main screen, then give options on how to view it. This could be via your iTunes account or on Hulu Plus. See how all devices could get along and still make money?
Now Samsung’s Smart Hub claims to have some of these features, but a search of “Smart Hub” on its site would not pull up anything. A bit more poking around pulls up this “Samsung is changing the rules of watching TV with its new Smart Hub. A highly advanced gateway, Smart Hub allows you to search and access content quickly and easily.” That’s pretty much it without any defining details. As we get the new line of 2014 Samsung sets in, I’ll be sure to check them out myself.
Samsung, Sony, and LG all offer social media integration, and Samsung and LG are touting motion control and even some voice control. This is not what the public is looking for; this is a cover-up since what we want cannot yet be done. Social media is personal; it will stay on our personal devices, and motion control—like voice control—is not yet there. TV manufactures are filling the void with clutter, trying to redirect your attention to a shiny object while the main objective—better TV—goes unfulfilled.
Am I missing something? Please, tell me in the comments section below. Tell me how the average human can find all this programming in one easy place, not how you set up a PC to pirate content to your personal viewer… Tell us about today’s game-changers and what tomorrow’s inventions hold, for we are the matchmakers and the one’s that will connect these great new technologies with content-hungry consumers.
Heather L. Sidorowicz is the president of Southtown Audio Video in Hamburg, NY.