2006/04/29

Making Television Completely Valueless

In an attempt to preserve a TV revenue model that is already dead, Phillips Electronics has come up with an innovation that is sure to please Big Content and infuriate consumers: The ability for broadcasters and freeze the channel during commercials.

But...before we turn this idea into a pile of smoking rubble, let's start with a question. Why did you buy your PVR (Tivo, PC, whatever...)? To time-shift programming and avoid commercials, right? I mean, we pay for the frackin' cable already (well most of us do)! We should be able to tailor programming to suit our schedules. This increases televisions value.

Broadcasters don't see things this way though. They're not interested in increasing television's value to you the consumer. They want you to watch what they program, when they program it, and they want you to remain captive through the inane commercials because it fattens their bottom line.

So here's the thing: This innovation would deal with commercials, but if think that it won't be abused to deal with lousy programming, think again. How are you gonna like it when you're channel surfing and suddenly discover that your TV is stuck on "America's Funniest Home Videos" for the next hour?

8 Comments:

Sick, stupid, but not surprising. In the broadcast model, programming is nothing more than commercials for commercials; let people watch the meta-commercials while skipping the point of the thing, and the whole system becomes pointless.

If they succeed in putting this sort of thing in place, it'll only hasten the death of broadcast television.
Next up, they install bars which slide into place to lock you in the room when the commercial comes on. No bathroom break for you!
I love it. I have often said, television sucks you in and spits out your soul. It's a reflection of our society, no?
Makes perfect sense to me. After all, freedom — and free TV — are not free.

And here's what's coming next.
Ah Ms. Yenta...another stunning idea! But that may make those 1:00p to 5:00pm installation windows from Comcast a bit too short a time.

Abi...ouch! Appropiate graphic though. I haven't watched Clockwork Orange in a number of years. :-)
TV creates a change of heart, a change of heart......inquiring minds,kvatch!
The whole reason I cut out cable was because i couldn't figure out why I had to pay for programming and sit through commercials as well. And nine times out of ten, if you change the channel because a commercial is on, the next channel is showing a commercial as well.

Everyday, they find a way to take more choice out of our lives.
"They're not interested in increasing television's value to you the consumer."

Nope, business is out to make money, not do public good. That is the nature of business...

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