Black and white to color is a pretty natural progression. There's really no mystery why that happened. Still, it was about twenty years between the first color TV broadcast and the last black and white broadcast.
I think analog to digital TV was a government mandate to allow better use of the spectrum. Without that mandate, I doubt that the a to d conversion would have happened nearly as fast.
Certainly there is technical benefit to 3D TV. In theory, it should better match they rest of our reality. However, the need to wear special glasses, the potential for headaches and the poor quality of much of the materials offset the modest gains of the 3D experience.
Yeah, I agree, Duane. 3-D aside, what's puzzling me is Myspace TV... I know every CE vendor is under pressure to come up with something to make their TV "social," I am not really sure how social I want to become when dozing off on my couch... you know what I mean?
It seems to me that Myspace TV kind of misses the point. The problem with the old model of television viewing is the lack of socialness. The problem is really the rigidity. In my youth, a TV show was on at a specific time each week. If you wanted to watch it, you had to be in front of a TV when it was on. The social component came in when you and your friends talked about it the next day or on the phone.
The new generation of media viewers, for the most part, really doesn't understand the staticness of that model. Virtually anything can be found on demand today. The social component is taken care of quite well via text messaging.
The hole in the conventional television viewing experience is largely in completeness of web video services - seamless searching and display as well as inexpensive legal access. It's not in social media.
iTunes changed the music industry because it solved a problem at a price point that customers saw as equal to the delivered value. Television needs a similar solution, not trends or exposed text messages.
The movie Avatar came and went a few years back, and the public has mostly forgotten it already. Not much 3D content since then has been compelling enough to make large numbers of consumers say wow, I need to go spend a bunch of money on a new TV so I can have 3D at home!
Social TV? Maybe. I don't think I want my screen cluttered with a bunch of IMs from my friends discussing the show I am trying to watch right now. Maybe we can talk about it after it's over...and we don't need the TV for that.
But the younger generation is different. I can imagine a lot of interest among teens and young adults in halfway paying attention to a TV show they are supposedly watching, while simultaneously typing/text chatting with a bunch other people, and all of that stuff cluttering up a single display. I suspect that the worse your ADD is, the more you find this idea appealing :)
I hear ya, Rick. 3-D is here to stay as are all glitzy gadgets that have their shiny moments in their life. But after the glitz, comes the reality: who wants to wear glasses in order to enjoy themselves? And no matter what prognosticators say, auto-stereoscopic TVs are a long way off. Unless you're Sony: http://www.tgdaily.com/consumer-electronics-brief/60694-sony-introduces-glasses-free-3d-tv-at-ces (caveat: I do not own stock in Sony.)
I have to believe that the only reason vendors are adding 3D capability to TV sets is that this can be done at a low cost.
Also, I see the 3D phenomenon differently from color and HDTV. People in general wanted color, and wanted high def images, but the initial hardware was just too expensive. So of course, people held off, until prices dropped. When prices of color TVs and of HDTV reached the order of magnitude of what came before, those products became the norm. The new standard.
It's simply not the same for 3D. It's not like people are clamoring for it. Honestly, from the first articles ballyhooing 3D TV a few years ago, all I could ask myself is, "Where is this coming from?"
As to "broadcast," it's not clear to me what people mean by that anymore. No one has had to watch TV in real time, i.e. "by appointment," for just about 30 years now. Whether the technique was time shifting with VCR, then PVR, or whether streaming online, it makes no difference.
The story-telling part of TV won't die. Nor will the news and sports. But I do agree that the distribution techniques have been and will continue to change over time.