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Not to be outdone, several smaller companies also plan to compete in broadband-to-TV market. Akimbo Systems (www.akimbo.com) debuted its service last fall and is currently in process of expanding. Similar ventures such as DAVETV (www.dave.tv), TimeShift TV, (www.timeshiftv.com), and VCinema (www.vcinema.com) plan to enter market later this year. All of these companies plan to offer almost unlimited amounts of movies, TV shows, sports, specialty programming, and international programs via a set-top box interface between a broadband connection and a TV set. This programming will be culled from vast internet universe and made available for TV viewing. For a more detailed description of these services, see my related article entitled, “The Coming Television Revolution.”
If nothing else, all of these developments should compel cable companies to offer a much more competitive form of VOD. Comcast, one of leading cable providers and a partner with Sony in its recent purchase of MGM movie library, is now in process of rolling out its advanced VOD platform. The other cable companies are sure to be following suit real soon. Meanwhile, premium services have still been slogging along. The premium channel paradigm has long outlived its original usefulness and has only been able to hang around because of lack of a good VOD system thus far. The only thing really going for premiums right now is their award-winning original programming; including series’ like “The Sopranos”, “Dead Like Me”, and “Six Feet Under.” Perhaps premium services could morph into original-programming-only services in order to survive. However, they’d have to seriously increase number of series’ (and number of episodes of each) they produce. Perhaps they could also carry longer and/or alternative versions of programs already aired on broadcast television and basic cable. In addition, they would have to find a way to lower their subscription rates. I’m not sure all of that would be feasible. One thing I do know for sure is that people would not continue to subscribe to premium channels for their movie content once they could conveniently pull up virtually any movie or TV show they wanted, any time they wanted.
Terry Mitchell is a software engineer, freelance writer, and trivia buff from Hopewell, VA. He also serves as a political columnist for American Daily and operates his own website - http://www.commenterry.com - on which he posts commentaries on various subjects such as politics, technology, religion, health and well-being, personal finance, and sports. His commentaries offer a unique point of view that is not often found in mainstream media.