Televison: Dangerous At Any Speed?
News reported on television has been moving at different speeds recently, from a limping cruise ship at 5 mph (riveting!) to an asteroid breezing the earth at 18,000 mph.
Cameras in outer space? Maybe just a computer animation on CNN. But still -- sometimes TV lets you use your imagination. Other speedy events: Assorted police officers rushing about in California's Big Bear resort area with a cop killer on the loose.
Behind the scenes, the U.S. is moving at another speed when it comes to upgrading its TV capabilities to so-called 4K technology from HDTV, which can deliver around five times better resolution than current high-def technology. Fox Sports is already using 4K cameras for some sporting events. Japan's NHK will start 4K tests next year. Looking to sell my new TV set quickly on eBay.
Of course, the Internet continues to move faster -- what will all the talk of real-time buying, real-time branding, real-time bonding, and real-time moving around of everything. Go to your favorite website and look for the same display or video ad that you saw five minutes ago. Not so fast. Your favorite brand is on to another potential customer. That's loyalty for you.
How much quicker can we go in TV? And if we are moving too fast, are we missing anything?
One network holding the line is CBS. Last week, senior executives said it has no big plans to make changes to its prime-time lineup for next season. Always the model of consistency (TV marketers love that!), CBS continues a steady pace and keeps, for the most part, all its viewers intact.
On the other side of things, CNN Worldwide, with its new president Jeff Zucker, is making big seemingly quick changes -- ABC News correspondent Chris Cuomo has joined the long-time cable TV news channel,
And then late last week, Zucker brought on a senior PR executive who’d worked with him for a decade and a half at NBC. The day before, CNN devoted perhaps way too much time, according to critics, to that slow-moving, disabled Carnival Cruise ship with its sweaty, bathrobe-wearing travelers
Thank God for Valentine's Day, the weekend, and President's Day. We needed to take a break -- even, maybe, a shower.