Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Online Libraries- the New Theater

Ever since I began living by myself at college, with no parents to nag me, I have been watching some of my favorite TV shows and movie clips before going to sleep. This habit started as a rebellious- “I am mature and independent now” statement, but it developed into a daily hobby because of the easy access to this media online.
Netflix, Hulu and iTunes are the largest “online theaters”, enabling everyone access to all kinds of movies and shows for a trivial fee. Not only is the process effortless, the products are incredibly satisfactory. People can watch any movie, at any time, in any place, as long as they are connected to the server. Consequently, there is a major decrease in people’s interest in network television and cable. More specifically, Comcast- the biggest cable company in the U.S., has been experiencing a major increase in the number of cable-service-cancelations.
Interestingly enough, Comcast has been taking a friendly, competitive approach to this issue by advancing its own online applications and services. The company came up with a library of movies called Xfinitytv, offering all the popular TV and movie channels to signed members. In addition, Comcast developed couple of small advanced gadgets for its users such as a remote control to the TV through a laptop keyboard and a remote DVR programming Web browser.
The pitch which is most likely to restore the peace within the company is the incorporation of the iPad or the Android tablet into its future technology. Comcast is currently working on its Xfinitytv iPad app which will allow users to transform their iPads into an on-demand, light, comfortable-to-use, touch-screen remote. Nevertheless, Comcast hints about developing its revolutionary technology of a live TV accessible to watch on the compatible iPad screen.
While all these innovations will ultimately improve people’s media experience and will provide overall satisfaction, I wonder if this rivalry between monopoly companies to become exponentially more technologically advanced will ever cease. Whatever happens, I strongly believe we cannot ignore the social evolution we are all experiencing, at this very moment. We do require new ideas and tools to accommodate those social changes. Comcast’s approach shows us: “We need to work with the changing times instead of fighting them.”

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