Why TV Will Never Be The Same!

JumpTV (click for larger view)

I’m amazed at what comes my way every single day as the Internet explodes as a platform and — besides the obvious sites on everyone’s radar screen like YouTube, Revver and Brightcove — there are other very interesting ones *and* the tools to create extremely high quality visual content are accelerating too. So let’s connect a couple of dots that hit my radar screen today as further evidence as to why TV will never be the same.

Case in point: a colleague’s son-in-law is involved with JumpTV and he sent me an email as an FYI with several attached links (here, here, here and here) about the company.

I went out to their site and was delighted to see the capability to stream live video from many other countries all over the world. Though there are other solutions for streaming live TV, this is the first one that seems as straightforward as needed so that non-technical people can subscribe and watch IPTV.

I immediately emailed my friend John who married a woman from Peru (who works in international marketing here in Minnesota for a Fortune 100 company and my family and I traveled to Peru for the wedding two years ago…but I digress). I’m pretty certain that she’ll find it wonderful to be able to watch a channel(s) from home over the internet (as well as her ex-patriated friends from Peru now living here). JumpTV is making the world just a little bit smaller by this enriched content being available to those interested.

Case in point #2: I had lunch with a friend of mine who recently purchased a Canon XH-A1 high definition camcorder. We all know how great HD video is, but you perhaps aren’t aware of how fundamentally changed the whole realm of video capture and quality has become. This camcorder, while not cheap at $3,995, provides quality that is almost frighteningly good. Take a look at this film look video shot with the XH-A1 by a film student from San Francisco State and be wow’ed.

Talent helps of course, but the quality of this camera is incredible and the Final Cut Pro application from Apple (the “studio” bundle is $1,299) they used to edit the HD video is pretty robust. The kicker is that a Mac to run FCP and the app itself, the camcorder, some audio gear and lights could be purchased for under $10,000. With learned technique and experience, the quality is phenomenal.

Slowly but surely I’m turning away from traditional TV — even with my DVR recording my favorite shows — to Internet centric, on-demand video. The issue for me, however, is that most stuff out there that’s user-generated I simply don’t care to watch. I’m a History, Discovery, Science and Biography channel guy and don’t watch Lost, Desperate Housewives or the YouTube Popular Videos. But every single day I follow a link to a video of a lecture, a demonstration, some thought leaders’ video or old, re-purposed footage from something I’m delighted to see — and I’m also increasingly turning to the major broadcaster sites to watch a TV show that I forgot to record and wasn’t around to watch. I almost *never* watch live TV anymore.

In the same way that traditional print media is struggling to redefine themselves in a user-generated content world and defending themselves with the justification that the quality and journalistic practices are theirs and theirs alone, the economic incentives and model for a transfer from traditional TV to user-generated TV doesn’t yet exist. But there’s NO question that TV will never be the same.

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