A La Carte TV
Dan Gillmor's column on the future of TV. In Hongkong, NowBroadbandTV (and PCCW) is offering each channel separately, using broadband distribution, for pushing TV to their customers.
Unlike the United States, where DSL customers are limited to speeds well below a megabit per second, the vast majority of Hong Kong's DSL subscribers have connections at 6 megabits per second.... Channels range in price from about $1.30 to $5 a month, and higher in a couple of cases. PCCW and its content providers share the revenues in a formula that isn't disclosed.
However, there is no recording allowed:
But for all the possibilities, PCCW's service is burdened by some of the most stringent control-freakery I've seen in the TV world. If you want to tape one of the TV programs to watch later, forget it. You can't. Period.
I wonder if they asked the customers about this, or just did it. Apparently, they are fairly paraniod about copying, and the programming providers refused to offer content unless recording was turned off.
PCCW's lockdown prompted a letter of complaint to the editor of the South China Morning Post. The correspondent wrote: "Recording is essential to many viewers as it is generally difficult for busy Hong Kong citizens to watch TV according to broadcast schedules."
And the ending:
I'm afraid the "big guys" in both entertainment and traditional media may end up restricting themselves out of the business, if they're not careful. I really think the day of the blockbuster novel, the movie "everybody wants to see," and a few limited voices reading/producing the news, is drawing to a close. The next few years is going to be really interesting, as major corporations come to grips with customers who want variety and instant availablity of their preferred items, with minimum unobtrusive advertising.
Posted by Mary Hodder at December 7, 2003 08:12 AM