TV Isn't Dead

Heather Green

It seems to me that for the most part, people use absolutist headlines on their posts to create a polemic. And for the most part, I just grumble. But here's one where I have to give in. Steve Gillmor has a post entitled TV is Dead where he mixes together a lot of different reasons for why that's so. Frankly, I don't think TV is dead and it doesn't look like he wants TV to be dead because he still names shows he likes. The ones he writes off simply seem to have run their course.

My opinion: TV is a lot better than it has been in years. Just go back and look what we watched in the 1970s. But that doesn't seem to be his point. He seems to be saying that appointment TV, broadcast TV the way we knew it, the type of TV production of the past, is over.

And yes, yes, sure, of course. We can watch it whenever we want and the TV studios and networks have had a huge hand in making that possible over the past year. And now, we're beginning to see companies from BitTorrent to Apple figure out ways to bring the Internet and downloaded shows and podcasts to the TV.

So is TV different? Will it keep changing dramatically? Of course. Is it dead? Maybe the way we have known it for the past few decades, but it has already changed along the way and it's changing still. And it has to change, because now the traditonal version has a lot more competition from the new kind of TV.

Do revolutions ever end up remaking everything? No. Humans like watching moving video on a box, whether it's a PC or a flat screen TV or an iPod. That's an opportunity for new and old TV alike.

The most interesting thing to me is if people expect different levels of quality, differnet levels of risk, then the same technology that makes it cheap for the folks from Rocketboom to do that also makes it easier for the folks from NBC or the folks fired from NBC. And that's the lesson. Different TV. Not dead TV.

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