One of my favorite essays during school days used to be about Television. I still remember writing about the TV in Hindi. Invented by John L. Baird, if my memory serves me correctly. Looking back in the last 30-40 years, we have moved from no TVs, to TV being a novelty, to CRT TV sets being the norm (who can forget Dyanora?) and nowadays, to LED TVs. What next? Of course, 4K Ultra HD TVs are already here. We will move away from the cable TV or even the need for a satellite Dish enabled TV set in the future. It may sound alarming, but it is going to be the reality sooner or later. No more TV shows, a dime to the dozen, repeated in multiple languages and broadcast over an untold number of channels. Early age TVs used to have 12 channels and a remote control was unheard of. Within a few years now, we have hundreds of these channels all vying for viewership and advertisement revenue. Almost every channel has programs running 24/7. For how long, I wonder?
Video can be, after all, transmitted just like data, in 0s and 1s. Why, then, even bother with an “extra” TB connection at the home? The data connection is good enough to bring in the programs that you and I would want to watch. In fact, the number of TV channel apps are too many nowadays. Even that is another space that is calling out for consolidation. My Amazon Fire Stick has apps for Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Voot, Sony Liv, Viacom, YoutTube, TED and so many more that I cannot even remember. Soon, I am sure, there will be another app that will simply list all the available programs/ movies/ sports events across all of these apps. I click on one and that is what I get to watch. Even the billing for these apps will need to change, of course. The iTunes store charges for movie rentals and for purchasing movies. Maybe that is the way forward. Reduce the Pay Per View cost and with scale, we get to watch what we want, at a lower price point than the one that we are paying today.
In fact, the usability of the Television set itself is in question. If the data speeds can increase sufficiently and the indications are that they will, with 5G and beyond, then the quality of the video being delivered can be enhanced so much more. This being so, the reception medium need not be a traditional “TV” any more. Projection of the video on a wall of choice should be easy enough to do, to view it on a large screen, with a higher resolution. As we move to a wireless future, air being a medium of transport for data, even projecting sound would be wireless, which it already is. Custom built sound devices for each home, accounting for the acoustics, would work as speakers for video conversations, for watching programs on Data Vision and for listening to the radio or music of choice.
Ok. So the next generation is not going to have telephones/ smart phones. Wearable tech would be omnipresent, television would be extinct and conversing with technology would be as natural as talking with another human. The possibilities are endless and the painting for the future way of life cannot be completed in a single blog post!