The Introduction chapter to “The Television Will Be Revolutionized” sets the stage for an instance in industrial foresight, first by explaining the history of television and second by making note of changes we are presently experiencing due to innovations in hardware and technology. This was an exciting chapter to read because most things Lotz claimed seemed to be true to me. The history element of this set-up was mostly repeated information from Mittell’s “Exchanging Programming”. It went over the Network Era, the Multi-Channel Era, and the Post-Network Era.
The Network Era was the first stage of television that lasted until the mid-1980′s and was characterized by the control held by networks in the times in which programs could be viewed (linear). The networks also held power because there were only three competitors (ABS, CBS, NBC) and each competitor had affiliates all over the nation who would broadcast their programming.
If only we could watch Andy Griffith right now. I guess we’ll watch this I Love Lucy rerun first.
The Multi-Channel Era was the second era that lasted from the mid 1980′s until the mid 2000′s. This era was characterized by the technological innovation of cable and satellite transmitters that allowed for new channels to emerge and succeed due to the distributors reaching a national audience. This took power away from networks and made television programming less “safe” and more aimed at niche audiences.
Watch out, TV isn’t just for you crusty straight white families anymore!
The era we currently exist in is somewhere in-between the Multi-Channel Era and an era defined by the dominance of user-determined time frames of media consumption. The technologies that Lotz makes note of are not adopted by the majority however, so this era is considered transitory from the Multi-Channel Era into something else characterized by the majority use of user-determined media consumption time frames. I liked how Lotz made sure to state that this era, the Post-Network Era, is transitory because I absolutely agree. Due to generational differences, distributors must accommodate both the tech-savvy youth and the old dogs who aren’t going to learn any new tricks. As new technology is being adopted (smart phones, tablets, Netflix, Hulu, etc.), the future of media consumption is apparent; television will see an end in popularity of prime-time in lieu of user-determined viewing schedules.
Screw off, TV execs! I’m the boss now.
1: With the options of fast-forwards, rewinds, and pauses, what kid of advertising can we expect to dominate the future era? I expect to see more snipes (YouTube seems to have adopted it).
2: I wonder how remote controls will change as technology changes. If the cable/satellite become obsolete, maybe we will see something more similar to an XBox controller. I anticipate the number pad on remotes to disappear. Maybe the WiiU will lead the remote control change to include its own screen where a user may live tweet from their remote control and thus build stronger TV audience community and promote “viewsing”.
3: Websites have been broadcasters for awhile now (Homestar Runner- gotta reference it again). What can we expect in the media industry as far as independent productions? I think the shift in eras will be great for independent producers who are willing to entertain niche audiences. This might make the entertainment industry more appealing to entrepreneurs instead of the make-it-or-break-it structure that is in place.
4: Random question: What is fin-syn? I saw it referenced in Table 1