I don’t watch live television. Last night, as millions of Americans snuggled up to the second Presidential debate, I waited until about 30 minutes after the event started before I launched my DVR.
That’s as close to live as I get.
The other two events Americans watch live? The Super Bowl and the finale of American Idol, neither of which I start until both are at least an hour in so I can skip boring football, bad commercials, talking heads and Ryan Seacrest. Of course, if there’s a good game or a wardrobe malfunction, I can replay it again and again.
What I’m writing isn’t new to anyone. But we are coming toward a tipping point that will change the landscape of how we receive entertainment.
Subscription services from Hulu Plus give users the option to get many shows still interrupted by advertising but packaged for streaming delivery to televisions, phones, computers and tablets.
Apple’s own AppleTV gives more the pay-to-play approach. Buy the shows you want and watch it where you want — even download for that cross-country plane ride.
Now comes Boxee (Boxee.tv). It’s both a DVR with unlimited space because it stores it in the amorphous cloud and a streaming system like Roku.
I am not saying Boxee is best. But Boxee is hinting at what’s coming, as does AT&T’s U-Verse and everything else.
We’re not going to be tied to a box or stuck at home. The screen won’t just be the 52-inch flatscreen designated a television by Best Buy. An Internet connection and any screen plus virtual cash (or enduring a commercial) will get you your boob tube entertainment.
Good thing the candidates got feisty last night. Chances are a few million more will watch the non-live streaming version of the debate and skip to the best moments.