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2010/11/05

The New Television is similar to the (Older) New Telephone

When I was in college about a decade ago, I knew some people who didn't have a "landline", or a traditional wired telephone in their place of residence. It made sense to me for college students. If you're out and studying, going to classes, working between classes, etc., it made sense that you weren't home enough to hear your phone ringing, so it's best to just have the mobile phone and not worry about it. For students, sure that made perfect sense. For adults, however, I wasn't sure. Come ten years after, you have more and more people who are dropping the landline that are out of school. There are sticking points, like how E911 for mobile isn't quite as far as for traditional telephony*, but it's a trade-off more and more making.

I have an adapter for my old-school TV that allows me to plug my netbook's VGA and watch YouTube, or whatever, on the big screen. My Wii can do Netflix, as can my friend's iPhone. Android is coming soon. Hulu can bring most of my favorite shows to me. Not everything, but close and closer all the time. If this is true, if you can get all the moving pictures you need from the internets and don't need the co-ax run. And we're not talking people who can't afford cable. We're talking people who decided that they just didn't need another wire run and time-sink in their lives.

The comments highlight a few of the hinderances with this. First, if you want to watch live events, like sporting events or news, you're out of luck. If there's a way to see Big Bang Theory or The Marty Stuart Show or new episodes of Discovery shows online, I've yet to see it. And this model is more-or-less fine if you know what you watch and watch what you know, but it locks you out of searching through and finding the next cool thing you didn't know existed. So, TV-wise, I'm not a cord-cutter yet. But I'm moving that way.


* The two times I've had to dial 911, I was calling because of a car accident.