Television seems to be poised on the brink of making itself completely irrelevant, or reinventing itself into a fantastic new medium with the power of Tivo-NetFlix-RSS: thousands of hours of video-on-demand streamed from in-house servers could make TV as exciting as you want, rather than being stuck with a slow night of re-runs. Dan Gillmor writes:
TV and the Net.
(This is also my Sunday column in the San Jose Mercury News.)
Media junkies have felt a small shiver of anticipation from recent press reports pointing to a linkup between NetFlix, the mail-order video-rental company, and TiVo, the hard-disk home video system. Maybe we’ll soon see the NetFlix catalog made available via the Internet.
The idea definitely has some allure. Anything that lets us avoid a trip to the video-rental store, while simultaneously offering more choices of movies, sounds good at first glance. In some ways, it’s the future of home entertainment.
If such a service ever does take shape, however, it’ll likely include severe restrictions on what customers can do with what they’ve rented. The copyright wars ensure that.
More… [Dan Gillmor’s eJournal]