TV in the ’10s

It sounds like 3D TV was the big hit at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, but I’m still wondering about content…

One day in ‘09, after paying a hefty cable bill, I flipped through my channels and came up with nothing. I went through my DVR queue, nothing. I wondered, “What did I just pay for besides the Internet?”

Soon after that I began researching my pay TV alternatives. It’s not that I didn’t want to pay. I just didn’t want to pay so much for so little. While facilitating one of our communities I discovered a thread between two members who had the same frustration. One member recommended Roku—the streaming Internet device that connects to your TV. I mail-ordered one and when it arrived, a whirlwind romance began.

It started with a marathon of the first three seasons of Miami Vice (click here for my analysis). Then I found out why so many of my friends are obsessed with Lost. After that I worked my way through the Ken Burns documentaries, but the passion eventually fizzled as I ran out of instant Netflix titles.

I didn’t want to do it, but I went back to my old standby—network TV. At first it was comfortable and familiar, but after awhile became too predictable and the commercials started to annoy me again. Then I went back to Roku and had a fling with Amazon Video On Demand. After paying $1.99 per episode of the first season of Fringe, I ended it. Now it’s 2010 and I’m back with the old ball and chain—cable TV.

I have to say that all of this has left me bitter about the future of TV. Will we ever be able to truly customize our TV experiences?