TV vs. Streaming

It has been said that streaming sites such as Ustream or Justin.TV are here to replace conventional TV and it puts the power of content in the hands of normal people as well as been fully interactive. While these people may live in this self made dream that what they are doing is overtaking television, I am here to tell you otherwsie – they have a long way to go yet.

TV in the old days

In the UK we had a choice of 3 channels over the air broadcast which consisted of BBC1, BBC2, ITV – they introduced Channel 4 in 1982 and Channel 5 in 1997. In reality then, we had two main channels to watch – BBC 1 and ITV. TV’s back then had 4 buttons you pushed in and made a definite ‘clunk’ – the extra 5th channel presented a problem but soon TV’s got upgraded and this did not matter.

If someone had showed me Live streaming back then and told me it was the future, then I would have agreed with them 100% as there was little else to watch in them days. The problem of course was back them computers were low powered, the internet was too young and speeds were just not there.

TV comes of age

We have a choice of Satellite and cable boxes (I have both) and with these comes a choice of many channels catering for ever need such as cookery programs, DIY, movies and so forth. On top of this we have Big Screen TV’s with good sound and combine this with the relaxing of sitting on a sofa without have to press any buttons or type into a chat room – great.

Streaming – can it replace TV?

On the TV, I grab the remote and either pull up a TV listing or surf the channels on offer and normally, most of the time, I can find something interesting to watch. The ease and speed of doing this operation far outstrips what you have to do a computer. If we were to compare let us say Justin.TV – I look in the ‘Tech’ Section and low and behold all the channels presented there are on full repeat mode, I can compare this in a way to Catch up TV but without the ability to Fast Forward and such. These people are clearly only after numbers – like some sort of game to see who can have the most watching them or something.

Entertainment section is mostly people re-broadcasting South Park, Simpson’s and so forth, If this is what I wanted to watch, I would find a better way and a better quality then watching a low resolution broadcast. Social is mostly people sitting in there house with a webcam pointing at them – sort of like watching Big Brother then.

Where Streaming falls over

Most if not all the streams seem to originate from USA, this means they are going to be broadcasting at a time that is too late for me in the UK. While I love chatting with people about all things Technical, some hands on stuff would be great. I would like to compare a UK based Tech show (Gadget Show) to a Tech Based Streaming show.

…….Gadget TV Show……

They cover the Tech news, most of this I already know of, they demonstrate some new gadgets and they also do a hands on test of a range of items (Such as Rugged camera’s for example) and rate them. They of course have a full production team, a budget to buy these items or they are big enough to get the items for test from the makers, they have a full camera team, a team of people to push the buttons, proper equipment and are trained presenters.

…….Live Tech Stream…..

They normally go through the tech news they found on various websites and move on to talking about a subject which somehow always end off been about Apple and the people they have on as guests do not always have the full background to warrant there views – such as never owning an Android yet happy to say it is worse then the iphone. It then goes into questions or topics from the chat room and finally ends after 2 hours – this is when they now Loop what they just did for the rest of the day.

The difference there is the Streaming is done via a webcam, this cannot compare to full blown TV camera’s and even if you could get the quality – the upload is never enough for such ventures. There is no production crew, people to press buttons, no outside broadcasts and so forth. I agree it not a fair comparison but this is the sort of thing you have to compare if you are to say Streaming is replacing TV.

What about the people who don’t watch TV?

There is a number of people who do no more than sit in front of there computer day after day and never watch broadcast TV in the normal form, preferring to instead use the computer as a means to get this content. I can only assume more USA people work from home or something as most people I know seem to go out to work on a daily basis and have no real need to sit in front of a computer for the rest of the night.

Bottom Line

I think streaming shows has a long way to come before they are more mainstream, no amount of creating one place for a set of shows will make me think otherwise unless they remove the need for the streaming sites (such as Justin.tv).

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