TV High-Tech In Fast-Forward, But Content's Not Following

TV in 3-D? I don't see it.

I'm looking for better story lines, interesting characters, and series endings where local New Jersey gangsters are sitting in a diner when the screen goes black.

Now, I have to wear another set of glasses. That's what Sony Corp.'s Howard Stringer and DreamWorks's Jeffrey Katzenberg have been saying at the International Consumer Electronics Show here.

But Katzenberg insists: "This is not your father's 3-D." So will I be wearing frames with the initials "DG" on the side? Will Oakley be giving me 3D-enabled goggles with headphones? I don't need it.

HDTV? Yeah, I see blades of grass in football stadiums, and big pores on the face of Philip Rivers. (Maybe that was a fly or some extra sweat). Next up, Sony announced at CES it is making TVs with a direct broadband connection -- all without a separate middleware unit.

TV technology roars ahead -- while content development seems to be left behind. No wonder advertisers are complaining about fractionalization of the media. Consumers are desperate to find some venue that tells a good story with characters who aren't the all-knowing cops, judges, or lawyers who seem to dominate TV -- or at least network TV.



You know the drill. No matter what is developed by the world's best consumer product and service manufacturers, it never goes the way we expected it. VCRs didn't reschedule the way TV viewers watched TV networks (but DVRs did); ABC's then-historical deal with iTunes didn't mean that whole world was suddenly going to pay $1 or $2 for an episode (ad-supported digital alternatives won that war).

There should be real TV change -- perhaps virtual. In future years, I want "Grey's Anatomy" to work me into their storylines. The object should be to get every viewer a branded entertainment deal in "The Office."

TV interactivity? Google can give every user -- in theory -- a piece of Internet advertising revenue. Why not TV viewers?

7 comments about "TV High-Tech In Fast-Forward, But Content's Not Following".
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  1. Tom Kadala from ResearchPAYS, Inc., January 12, 2009 at 11:41 a.m.


    What would a revised business model for cable look like with Google (TV-like) ads displayed based on behavioral algorithm data collected from the household computers? Would the sky be the limit?

    Let me know if you need angel investors... or anyone else for that matter.

    Tom Kadala
    ResearchPAYS, Inc.

  2. John Phelan from Cedar Rapids Television Company, January 12, 2009 at 11:56 a.m.

    Reminds me of the Ray Bradbury novel from the mid 60's, "Fahrenheit 451", it's a good read I would recommend, or better yet watch the movie version for a glimpse of what you are talking about.

    John Phelan

  3. Paul Van winkle from FUNCTION, January 12, 2009 at 12:27 p.m.

    Your points are on target as usual, Wayne.

    One of the key issues affecting the exploding media environment is how to better align effective story-telling, character development, plot and SOUL -- with interesting new technologies, like 3D. Gamers often get it. But the creative craft of authorship seems lost on minions of new age techies. Thus, as each new 'advance' or gimmick gets released, the key question that regularly goes unanswered is: why should anyone with brains care?

    It's not that there aren't good writers and stories out there. They're everywhere and there's a ton to pull from and retrofit. But there seems to be a level of "communication autism" with the uber-tech-focused that often de-values and de-constructs anything from the Humanities. We all should be concerned that such a development lag, as psychologist Steven Pinker might say, might be a heritable trait. Because techie emotional intelligence and EQ stinks.

    Now that vast super-fast technical and delivery infrastructres, elaborate coding sequences, online shopping carts and a variety of technology business models have been tested and proven, perhaps understanding and linking up with our collective and individual humanity is over-due. I for one have grown tired of gimmicks and 'cool' effects. Maybe I'm just wanting more collective soul in my world.
    Paul van Winkle (Atlanta)

  4. Jaymi Curley from The Home Depot SSC/Marketing, January 12, 2009 at 1:19 p.m.

    Let me jump on John Phelan's bandwagon above. "Fahrenheit 451" is exactly the point here...and please don't watch the movie. READ THE BOOK! Read it once, read it over again...sit and think about the technology, mood and attitudes of our society as it stands right now, and then tell me you don't feel the same icy finger of terror down the spine that I felt when I read the current blog entry.

  5. Paul Van winkle from FUNCTION, January 12, 2009 at 2:29 p.m.

    ....I agree with the 451 references. I do. See and experience the same Orwellian police state issues, the 'icy terror'. The punishment looking for a crime. But the questions are: where do these drives come from, and when we're terrified by them, surrounded by them, what can thinking people (especially those of us in media) do? 'Cause the black void has to be filled with something else -- a different narative, better heroes, advanced plotlines, ones that serve humans and the rest of the planet's life. Or, face it -- we're screwed. It starts with concieving, crafting and telling new stories. Anyone awake can see the evil. It's up to each one of us to stop it.

  6. Karl Meisenbach from HDNet, January 12, 2009 at 3:17 p.m.

    Hi Wayne,

    i've been on you for three years :-) to get an HDTV -and surround system

    is the line: HDTV? yeah - in your article your declaration you now have a big HDTV at home?

    i'm guessing not based on your lack of excitement.

    get a 50" HDTV, plus a decent surround sound system and home and watch all your favorite programs for a couple of weeks including a movie on HDNet Movies, and a Concert, Bikini Destinations, Dan Rather Reports, and even an MMA event on HDNet.

    Will be interesting to read about your experience as insight into how the other 30? 40? 50MM HH's with HDTV's and watching HD content


  7. Fred Leo from Ad Giants, January 13, 2009 at 10:12 a.m.

    I just watched some reruns of "The Twilight Zone" and was completely satisfied.

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