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Marketing the medium

One thing that really upsets me is the way marketers view digital media. It really does. I don’t mean to go to negative-town, but I really need to explain it to those who just don’t get it.

If Philo T. Farnsworth , the inventor of television, were alive today, he would tell you about all of the hell David Sarnoff put him through.

I’ll let you research their story, but the point is, television and radio were made to be biased against interaction or control, whether intentional or not. Television without a remote control created an atmosphere where one would almost forcefully watch through commercial after commercial after commercial.

Unless one had a child (the hacker) at the set at all times to help you change the channel if an advertisement came on (trust me, this was my childhood job), your bottom line was set to unfortunately rely on corporate entertainment.

OK, so what’s done is done.

Interaction occurs. People can now fast-forward through those ads and forget about them entirely.

And, if product placement occurs, there are surely more places to find better entertainment for free (or, for goodness sake, play outside, even an outsider can do this as he/she now has easier access to find other outsiders to go to, let’s say, a renaissance faire).

The point is, I’m upset that marketers think that digital media is for them. It wasn’t set up to be. Sarnoff isn’t alive.

They can be part of the medium.  But, marketing the medium will surely hit the path of least resistance.

TV on the iMac, a dream (almost) come true

For those who have been to my apartment, you see that I use my iMac for two purposes:

  • As a computer
  • As my living room television

We are at a convergence point where television will be watched entirely from the computer.  Even though I have cable hooked up to the back of my iMac provided to me by the ElGato device, I would love to get rid of that almost-required $100+ digital cable package bill (I really could do without a LAN line).

I hardly watch television to begin with (save watching Keith Olbermann, The Office, 30 Rock, PBS, and the National Geographic Channel), and I can definitely catch these shows on sites like Hulu.com, NBC.com, and PBS.org.

So why do I still have digital cable?

I guess it’s because I like to channel surf on the weekends from the couch.  I can’t do that without having ElGato because then, I would have to navigate from far away (which is hard when you only have a 20″ screen).  Plus, where would I watch TV when I’m in the bedroom?  From my iPod touch (not yet, anyways)?

Here’s the ultimate solution:

  • Buy a projector for every room, throw it up against the wall, and hook it up to a CPU (Mac mini)
  • Get a portable keyboard and mouse/remote to use and switch between TV/internet (and other functions)
  • Kick the cable habit
  • Make MobileTV more avaialble (AT&T has done a great job at this with their Samsung and LG product lines); let’s go iPhone!
  • Sites like Hulu, CurrentTV, et al., should have streaming channels that you can watch from software like FrontRow

I’m sure the overhead I spend every month could be suplemented by me investing in this sort of technology.

Here’s to the future…