Everything is moving to the Internet. Take for example, how phone calls have evolved from being expensive to being almost free. A 10-minute direct-dial phone call from New York to Los Angeles used to cost $4.50 in 1970 ($25.24 in 2010 adjusted dollars). In 2010 that same phone call using the Skype Internet-based telephone service costs $0.00 (Comparison only includes per-minute charges).
The Problem For Broadcast TV
Television is now following a similar evolution, albeit in a roundabout fashion. Broadcast TV started out as free to its viewers. With just a few channels in any given broadcasting area, advertising rates were high and very profitable. But then Cable TV, and later Satellite Dish TV, arrived with dozens of channels being made available to the average viewer. This caused advertising rates per viewer to start falling like phone rates.
This presented a problem for Broadcast TV since their economic model did not let them compete well against Cable TV or Satellite Dish TV who charged monthly viewer fees. At first, viewers were willing to pay these monthly fees since they could get 10 times more channels than Broadcast TV could supply.
Revenge Of Broadcast TV
Now as if in some kind of ironic twist of justice, TV broadcast stations are finding a way to profit with low advertising rates and not charge their viewers any monthly fees by putting their shows and commercials on Internet TV. This works for a couple of reasons. First, they now have a worldwide audience for their shows (and commercials). And last but not least, their viewers tend to be much more highly targeted. For example, science fiction fans can watch from 5 to 10 previous episodes of their favorite shows on the Sci-Fi channel (SyFy.com) website for free in HD.
Viewers benefit by Internet TV in two ways. First, viewers now have access to literally thousands of channels worldwide — more than Cable TV and Satellite Dish TV combined. And, all channels are FTA (Free-To-Air) which do not charge any fees whatsoever to watch them. In the past, you could only access FTA channels with your own Satellite Dish setup, which cost thousands of dollars, and required you to know how to set it up and point it at the right satellites. Internet TV is totally different.
Internet TV Is Getting Popular
In April 2010, it was reported by TechCrunch .com that over 800,000 households have already dropped their cable and satellite subscriptions in favor of Internet TV. They also forecast that number to increase to 1.6 million people soon. For the complete story, search for “800,000 Households” at the
Internet TV is still in its infancy, and currently requires a computer to access it. This was also true of Internet phone calls using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) in the beginning as well. When handsets became available that integrated VoIP hardware and software directly into the handset, computers were no longer needed to make a VoIP phone call. So it is probably only a matter of time before our digital LCD and Plasma TV sets get direct Internet connectivity as well, and we will be able to watch our favorite Internet TV shows on them directly.
Getting Rid Of The Monthly Fees
With the current sluggish economy, people are looking for any way to get rid of their Cable TV and Satellite Dish TV monthly fees that just seem to keep increasing like health care premiums. Internet TV is fulfilling that demand, and with just a converter box and cable you can watch and hear it directly on your digital LCD or Plasma TV right now.