Freedom is a powerful word. It suggests the ability to do anything you want, from any place and at any time. As consumers of goods of all kinds–tangible and intangible alike–we value the freedom to consume those things in a way that best suits us. We want our entertainment to be available to us in that way, with no restrictions on time or place. The development of new technologies like streaming video (such as on OTT apps built on Roku or Apple TV devices) has opened many such doors for us, and it has given us a new way to look at the world.
A Broader Base of Sports
Television has always been able to deliver the content, and in recent years it has become more heavily digital. However, all the delivery in the world is worthless if reception is impossible. Networks were always covering a number of games each Sunday, then delivering them only to select market areas based on geography.
That has changed. Fans can now watch their team regardless of blackouts or market limitations. They simply find DIRECTV locally and tune into the games of their choosing.
But TV wasn’t enough. Fans who were on the go at game time wanted the opportunity to catch live game action from mobile devices and laptops. From that shortfall came the advent of a wide variety of streaming services that cater to phones and tablets, and next the power to capture those streams and view them through a standard home television.
It once required a massive satellite truck and a large staff to carry live video from the scene of breaking news. Getting those resources deployed, in position, and operational was a real challenge for news organizations, and many times it took several hours to see any video at all from the scene of the most impactful stories.
And while the highest quality broadcasts still originate from such conditions, it is no longer so difficult to begin sending photos and video from distant locations. News reporters or even citizens who happen to be at the right place at the right time can now capture video on cell phones or even traditional camcorders, then utilize wi-fi or data connections to pass it on to newsrooms, friends, and potentially even the authorities.
TV and Movies Forever
Somewhere in the cobwebs of childhood memories, many of us still recall television shows or movies that we really enjoyed and wish we could view again. We may have spent hours in the 1980’s and 1990’s searching through video rentals and sales hoping to locate that one single copy of the treasured program, only to come up empty. As home video declined in recent years, many of us gave up hope of ever again getting to view some of the more obscure favorites of our youth.
Thanks to the advent of efficient video streaming and immense video storage, those days are over. It is simple now to go through any of a number of popular streaming movie and television platforms to watch shows from the earliest days of television. Binge watchers and sentimental viewers love the ease and speed with which they can see all the shows they love.
When television was something you could only watch on an actual television, the name of the medium became synonymous with the name of the equipment. Now it has backed off simply to watching “video” or “content”, and the end of the direct linkage to the device is the surest sign yet that we don’t watch shows, movies, or sports the way we used to, and we never will again.