Monday, April 10, 2006

ABC Offers Free Online TV

AP carries news of the ABC announcement that drives another nail in the coffin of the Broadcast/Cable TV model: Free, ad-supported Downloadable Video.
ABC will offer four prime-time shows including "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" on its Web site for free for two months beginning in May as it continues to expand the ways consumers can watch TV online.

The shows will include advertising that cannot be skipped over during viewing.
This will require real bandwidth. The idea is basically to trade you an online PVR in exchange for you, the consumer, agreeing to keep the old advertising model and not skip the ads.

This is not a stable solution. People will save the video stream to disk and skip the ads just as the users of DVRs like TiVo do now. The result will be that users will come to view the ABC site as a large online storage place for "their" videos.

Once people get used to the attractive combination of DVR functions and price (free!) that this represents the only issue will be how quickly the material can be downloaded in High Definition.

Downloadable Video will be the killer app that drives the demand for really big bandwidth and this little announcement heralds that day.

I've already got a nice, hot swappable drive bay. Now if I could only get that fiber bandwidth that would make filling it feasible. Soon...

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