Monday, April 08, 2013

Holy disruption, Batman! Tech upstarts threaten TV broadcast model | Reuters

Tech upstarts threaten TV broadcast model | Reuters

Around the time television began to reach most U.S. homes in the 1940s and 1950s, cable TV came into being with CATV (Community Antenna Television), using a single large antenna to pull in and pipe weak, distant TV signals via cable into communities at the fuzzy, snowy edges of metro area TV broadcast signals.

Now just as it has distributed broadcast radio from all over the globe for the past decade and longer, the Internet is becoming a global CATV of sorts, capturing broadcast signals over thousands of antennas, according to this Reuters dispatch.  

This poses a major disruptive threat to the business models of paid cable TV and satellite featuring packages of hundreds of channels. Not to mention over the air TV broadcasters that have invested large sums to upgrade to digital TV broadcast equipment and transmitters with the end of analog TV broadcasts.

As the late mass communications theorist Marshall McLuhan wrote of television in its 1964 heyday, "The medium is the message." Now that medium is no longer TV.  It's the Internet.

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