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Will the Web Replace TV?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the already-has-for-me dept.

Television 306

dratcw writes "With the continuing writers' strike cutting way back on the number of new and original TV shows available, many media Web sites are providing alternatives to TV that can be found on the Web. A number of sites are offering features describing broadcast/cable TV alternatives while you wait for that next episode of 'Chuck'. 'What better time than during the writers' strike to (re)discover Internet TV and video? The quantity, quality, and diversity of online video grows by the day; and though it's far from perfect, it is at least interesting enough to make you forget that you're watching it on a PC monitor.'" Any web-based favorites you'd like to point out for fellow commenters?

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LoadingReadyRun (4, Interesting)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156282)

I've been watching them weekly since their hilarious "Rejected Wiiplay Games" movie. They're also the Desert Bus For Hope people. Anyway, they're somewhat hit-or-miss, but mostly hit IMO: []

Re:LoadingReadyRun (3, Informative)

Amiga Trombone (592952) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156468)

Then there's the ever popular Channel101, offering us entertainment like this... []

instead.... (5, Insightful)

overcaffein8d (1101951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156300)

instead of the web replacing TV, i think what is more likely is that TV's will be adapted to use the web... this has already started to happen (apple TV uses the web, doesn't it?)

i think that soon, our TV's will be a computer with a rather large, high-definition monitor

Re:instead.... (4, Informative)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156422)

Anyone else hear of 'Generation Cox?' I was out in Southern California for some work and there were constant commercials for new Cox Cable technology that would transform the way people would watch tv.

It is basically a completely on demand infrastructure with customizable viewing recommendations. Someone in the industry also suggested that work is being done on moderation technology for people who wanted to join 'viewing groups,' or groups of people united by philosophical or moral similarities who wanted to cull desirable programming from all the chaff.

Sounds like a hybrid to me. Not entirely web, not entirely tv.

Re:instead.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22156594)

Yep, former Cox employee here. It's one of the biggest things they have going on. Entertainment On Demand (EOD) will be not just a data and video (web and TV) service but will also integrate with their cell phone plans. If you get stuck in traffic you can use your cell phone to program your DVR to record something you might otherwise miss by being late. I don't know if they have cell service in CA yet as their markets operate independent of each other but they have it in AZ - it runs on the Sprint PCS network.


Re:instead.... (4, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156524)

I can agree. I already find it more convenient to subscribe to TV shows via iTunes than to watch them broadcasted. There are no commercials to get in the way, I always have a copy that I can watch as much as I want, I don't have to worry about timeslots or scheduling conflictions. If I want to do something else during the time it comes on, I'm free to.

Also, I've really started to love the whole idea of podcasts. Find a topic that you're interested in, subscribe to the podcast, and it's waiting there for you to watch each day. Having the newest one always available, stored, etc, is just an amazing use of technology.

At the same time, providers are going to need to ease up on bandwidth caps for this to work. Thankfully, my provider (Spirit Telecom) does no filtering nor bandwidth capping, but if they did I'd be SOL. Just my podcasts that I download each day run several GB, and iTunes video content runs about 10-15GB per month. Throw in online gaming, web surfing, patch and software downloads, other legal online video etc, and I'd bet I'm hitting close to 50gb per month in totally legal bandwidth usage. That's before even figuring in P2P usage (which I do use a bit, but very moderately - probably 8-10GB per month or so).

Re:instead.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22157058)

But, but, it already has: Free TV For PC []

Re:instead.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22157186)

Why didnt my "carrot"/sarcasm"carrot" tag show up?

Re:instead.... (1)

cs02rm0 (654673) | more than 6 years ago | (#22157076)

I concur.

But then I do work for an IPTV company. Set top boxes plugged into the network, ISP managed QoS to guarantee enough bandwidth for high definition video, all piped through your plasma.

Comca$t destroyed TV (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156328)

At over $60 for expanded basic, the web definitely replaced TV.

Re:Comca$t destroyed TV (5, Insightful)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156474)

I agree whole heartedly. Around where I live I have a small company that feeds off comcast, called metrocast. They want around $65/month for basic cable, and apparently around $200 for the premium package.

Even if there was a decent amount on tv to watch (which there isn't), it's not like I'm just sitting around all day to watch tv. I might watch a show or two in the evenings after work. What makes them think I'm going to spend that much money on watching 50% adverts anyway?

Basically, as soon as the companies realize that in order to take advantage of the web you must present not only convenience but additionally it needs to be a bit cheaper than the real thing, people will kill their cable service.

The problem is, with technology as it is now, people find driving to walmart, buying a DVD for $11 to be EASIER than getting an online rental that's unlikely to work and costs just as much.

But as far as the potential of the net to kill cable as we know it? Oh it's already there.

Re:Comca$t destroyed TV (2, Interesting)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#22157164)

I have Comcast in the Chicago suburbs. I was tired of paying $55/month for digital basic cable. Got rid of the TV service, but still have cable for internet, but I get most of my content from Netflix's unlimited Watch It Now. Installing a HDHomeRun in some datacenter space I have in the next couple of weeks (which is in downtown Chicago) to let me stream digital/HD over the air signals to my home (which isn't close enough for reception). The web replacing TV indeed.

Re:Comca$t destroyed TV (1)

rudeboy1 (516023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156540)

I agree. I stopped getting cable a few years ago because of this. All I wanted was the basic ~70 channel plan, and Comcast, et al, has priced it completely above the point where I would pay for it. For ~70 channels of ad-supported TV, I should be paying half that, at most. Someone needs to show these guys the internet, where ad-supported sights usually offer their wares for free, or next to free for the end consumer. I'm not going to pay to watch 6 minutes of commercials per every 30 minutes.

Re:Comca$t destroyed TV (2, Interesting)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156674)

I canceled my cable TV a few months ago and haven't looked back. I have over the air HDTV essentially for free (after tuner cost). I also pay Netflix $17 for their 3 at a time plan, and that fills the void nicely and is much cheaper than digital cable.

Re:Comca$t destroyed TV (2, Interesting)

ady1 (873490) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156698)

It can't actually replace TV until:

1. The bandwidth is fast enough to stream HD (or whatever the current standard is)
2. Production houses could figure out how to actually derive revenue for web exclusive shows.

Re:Comca$t destroyed TV (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156864)

I don't think streaming HD is what is needed - all we need is the ability to timeshift which means a good-sized hard drive. Imagine the content making its way to your living room while you're at work, then pick and choose what you want to watch once you get home that evening. Basically TIVO, just not constrained to a broadcast signal.

But they also want to destroy their competition. (1)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156800)

With TW looking to cap downloads at a pathetic 5 to 10 "shaped" GB per month, you will have no choice outside of broadcast cable. Have you noticed how slow YouTube is these days? It's not like Google does not have bandwith, it's like your ISP is fucking you. Even if you can put up with stuttering video or the 20 minute wait for a 10 minute video, you will quickly exceed your cap. Don't expect entertainment competition to grow as long as there's no real ISP competition and regulation actually favors dirty tricks for "security" and terrorism protection.

Comcast is charging a rate they think they can get away with. I dropped my cable TV when it hit $40 for basic, which included little more than broadcast TV, the shopping channel and the catholic channel. Comcast's $60 deal looks even worse.

Competition -- wean thyself from the video teat (5, Insightful)

JonTurner (178845) | more than 6 years ago | (#22157028)

In most places, a library card is still free. Why not start there?

If you must be entertained, then I suggest you start with borrowing some videos. DVDs/VHS... it doesn't really matter. Reaquaint yourself with the classics -- choose anything from the AFI top 100 list ('s_100_Years..._100_Movies_(10th_Anniversary_Edition))

Once you've gotten that out of your system, try some books on tape. Turn that hour-a-day commute time into something more productive than enduring the Morning Show Morons laughing at how drunk they got the night before or making ill-informed comments about the news of the day.

After a few weeks of books on tape, try reading a book. I know, I know -- you don't have time. Try it anyway. Read it during your lunch break. You'll eat more slowly and may lose a few pounds as a result. Spend an hour at night. If you take a train or bus, read it then. You'll be surprised at how quickly the time passes! If you're not sure what to read, choose anything which has won a Nebula Award which should appeal to the /. crowd.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were a television writer's stike and no-one noticed? After this exercise I suspect you'll find that your appetite for television entertainment has decreased. That's a good thing... it indicates you're more alive and using your mind actively rather than being passively entertained. There's life outside of television. Go find it.

Re:Comca$t destroyed TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22157178)

Um, Comcast standard basic is $21 + tax, and this includes more channels (60+) then I ever had growing up (and I am only 25). It is $53 + tax for the extra channels, which gives you something in the range of a 100 stations. Maybe the area you live in sucks, but around here the prices still seem reasonable, especially considering I live in one of the highest CoL areas in the US (DC Metro).

Already has. (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156342)

With various torrent sites, an rss feed, and XBMC the internet has already supplanted over the air television for me. It's going to be awfully hard for anyone to improve on that setup.

Re:Already has. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22156488)

Yes, but you're still referring to content that is primarily originally distributed over the airwaves. This article is referring to content that isn't tied into/produced by those major media outlets.

Re:Already has. (5, Insightful)

Have Blue (616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156528)

That's not really supplanting- if TV disappeared tomorrow, so would all your torrents.

What about Miro? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22156682)

I've been using Miro for some time, with MiroGuide as my show list and I'm having a very great experience... Interesting miro not being referenced in any of the links.

Re:Already has. (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156936)

I second this, and my process is now automagic now that I've spent some time learning rtorrent config AND I finally found a linux cronnable RSS parser.

pytvshows []
rtorrent []
(Read the Common Tasks [] page to see how to have it move movies/TV shows to their own folder and set up different watch folders)

Plus XBMC having the destination directory as a source and as soon as TV shows are done they pop up.

SpecialTen & VBS (3, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156346)

Any web-based favorites you'd like to point out for fellow commenters?
Disclaimer! I am not your average American looking for a mindless laugh or entertainment! The channels I suggest here are probably not something a lot of people would normally enjoy watching.

For my artsy, music & avante garde stuff, I prefer SpecialTen [] , a UK DVD magazine I actually subscribe to. They offer their stuff for free though and I find it all to be either thought provoking, fun or both.

For my documentaries and also music stuff, I prefer VBS [] although I have heard many criticisms of it playing to hipsters and wanna be hipsters. This may be although I find the material interesting.

While they are nice and work well in Firefox (I watch them both in Linux), I find some of the reporting to be over the top shock reporting and also find the advertisements to be repetitive. I have seen the trailer for There Will Be Blood too many times to count and I THERE'S OIL HERE, UNDERNEATH THE TOWN AND I'M THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN GET AT IT ... sorry, what was I saying? I black out every now and then from watching a lot of internet TV.

Of course, I enjoy adult swim, the office, south park, the daily show, etc but you just go to the network sites for that stuff and I assume everyone knows that. And, of course, now that they're releasing the cap for Netflix, I will watch those online although I can't seem to get that to work in Linux. Perhaps they'll come around?

I do look forward to the responses to this in hopes to lengthen my list of channels.

Re:SpecialTen & VBS (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22156830)

Disclaimer! I am not your average American looking for a mindless laugh or entertainment!
Translation: I am better than all of the other people that watch television. Next he'll tell us how he only reads playboy for the articles.

Re:SpecialTen & VBS (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22156894)

I am not your average American looking for a mindless laugh or entertainment!

Of course, I enjoy adult swim, the office, south park, the daily show, etc

Irony wins.


Re:SpecialTen & VBS (2, Funny)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 6 years ago | (#22157152)

I'm too highbrow for MK references, thank you very much.

        eldavojohn: "I am not your average American looking for a mindless laugh or entertainment!"

eldavojohn is lining up for the putt. Just a few feet away from victory...

        eldavojohn: "Of course, I enjoy adult swim, the office, south park, the daily show, etc"

[audience groan]

No! He missed the putt! Looks like unpretentious Joe Sixpack will be getting the green jacket.

[Sixpack puts on a green blazer amidst golf clapping from audience]

        Sixpack: "I bet I can hit myself with this stick! What am I doin?!"

Re:SpecialTen & VBS (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156908)

Disclaimer! I am not your average American looking for a mindless laugh or entertainment! The channels I suggest here are probably not something a lot of people would normally enjoy watching...For my artsy, music & avante garde stuff...For my documentaries and also music stuff, I prefer VBS although I have heard many criticisms of it playing to hipsters and wanna be hipsters.

Hipsters? The hell you say!

Incidentally, what's a "wanna be hipster", someone who rides a fake fake track bike instead of a real fake track bike?

What a Mistake That Post Was (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22157006)

Incidentally, what's a "wanna be hipster", someone who rides a fake fake track bike instead of a real fake track bike?
A wannabe hipster would probably be a hipster by anyone else's standards though I associate them with people who ascribe to hipster beliefs, clothing & mannerisms although they truly don't want to be that kind of person. Kind of like the wannabe punks you find in suburbia America.

In retrospect and light of the responses, I'm sorry I ever tried to share these links with the Slashdot crowd.

OT eldavojohn

Re:What a Mistake That Post Was (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22157120)

So a "wanna be hipster" is someone who doesn't wanna be a hipster. Naturally.

Re:SpecialTen & VBS (1)

demachina (71715) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156988)

In defense of network TV, Fox's "Terminator, Sarah Connors Chronicles" is actually pretty decent so far. Its the only network show I go out of my way to watch. I liked the new Battlestar Galactica early on but it faded fast. I like some of the things on History channel, Discover and the military channel but thats because I like history and facts over the bad fiction and reality shows which dominate the networks.

For good conversation PBS's Charlie Rose is hands down the best for thought provoking and informative, though it varies with the guest. Its entirely available on the web at []

Bottom line is its not about the medium any more. Its all about whether people are producing interesting content whatever the medium. Big TV and record companies have enormous problems because their one and only motivation is to make a buck, and great artists have an enormous problem producing great art from within that kind of system. Their system worked when their were 3 network channels because people watched it whether it was good or bad because there weren't many other options in the old days. Now there are a whole lot of options.

For recreation I would rather play interactive games were I'm doing something and effecting the outcome instead of being a spoon fed vegie.

Networks will be in troubel (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156374)

More than the writers, I am guessing that the networks will be in more trouble. The reason is that it takes a LOT of money to become a network in the first place. A historical comparison is music. To create a big group use to take a lot of money. Now, more and more groups have nothing to do with the major labels, and that process will only accelerate. The networks are about controlling the finite TV channels. With the internet, there is an infinite number of channels. The infrastructure is up and coming and more of it is being OSSed.

Re:Networks will be in troubel (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156924)

It's very difficult to become a "big" group without the aid of the labels. "Big" is not a function of talent; it's a function of advertising money. Lots of talented artists never go anywhere; lots of talentless hacks become very big.

If TV networks break up, we'll probably lose a lot of the high-production-value shows. You couldn't possibly shoot a $10 million pilot without a network, and its over-the-air broadcasts to everybody and its attendant must-carry provisions on every cable network.

Similarly, we lose "big" musical groups in exchange for a lot of little ones. In the case of TV shows, there's something definitely lost.

In the case of music groups, though... well, recording a song properly takes a lot more time and money than some people would have you believe. You can't do it with a $50 microphone and a copy of Garage Band, not if you want it to sound professional. But you can do it for a few thousand, which is a lot more accessible than TV shows.

They still can't be big without extensive promotion, but there will be a bit more interest if the promoting power of the networks to drown out everything else breaks up.

Re:Networks will be in troubel (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22157160)

10 years ago, you could not cut an album without 10-20K. Now, you can do it for a fraction of that (more so considering inflation). 10 years ago, to have a chance at making it, you required one of the 4 big labels. Now, you can make it to fairly good size without them (and I understand that it is a lot more profitable).

Video/Tv/etc will follow the same path. It will take longer due to the complexity, but it will happen. The reason is that todays young generation does not listen to DVDs/Albums, but to mp3s/downloads. They are the ones making the labels irrelevant. Within 1 to 2 generations after that, the then young generation will be producing cheap movies/shows/etc and will kill the networks.

As to TV shows that cost millions, would that be ones like American Idiot? Or Survivor? Or any other of the worthless shows on the networks? I would guess that fewer than 5% of the shows are worth a fraction of what went into them. Sadly, the Idiot and Survivor are highly view, but that is due to ads.

Already has replaced it for the past five years (4, Interesting)

Pausanias (681077) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156380)

TV? I don't watch a television device anymore, haven't for five years. The whole idea of attaching myself to a video broadcast at home seems so incredibly impossible to me. For the past five years, my chief source of entertainment has been reading and interacting with my favorite websites, posting comments, with the occasional game on the side. This to me is far more entertaining than the idea of gluing my eyes to a video broadcast. If there is a well-done TV show, I'll just download it off the bittorrent and watch it on the bus on the way to and from work.

Re:Already has replaced it for the past five years (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22156602)

You know, your whole "I'm far too intelligent for TV" schtick would be a lot more successful if you left out the part about video games.

Just a heads-up.

Re:Already has replaced it for the past five years (4, Insightful)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156866)

Mod parent up!

"I'm too intelligent for TV!" I download all my programs, and never watch live events.
"I'm too intelligent for radio!" I have to troll boards and poll my friends to find the latest music.
"I'm too intelligent for books/magazines!" I'd rather carry around a stack of batteries to read something something online and complain about AT&T when my iPhone can't reach my favorite website.
"I'm too intelligent for telephone!" I'd rather IM people than hold a conversation.

The problem is, "I'm not intelligent enough." To get my butt away from the computer.

Re:Already has replaced it for the past five years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22156868)

You know, you're entire "I'm smarter than you" schpiel would make a much better point if you actually addressed what they wrote.

Just a suggestion.

Re:Already has replaced it for the past five years (3, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156972)

I read, more than your average American and trying to read more daily, and I find that there is plenty of utter shit out there in book form. I spend entirely too much time trying to find things to read that don't suck as much as what appears in serial form on TV and the big screen. Take for example my post from December of 2003 where I talk about The Last Goodbye being the worst book I read in 2003 [] or the fact that I just read The Catcher in the Rye and found it to be a terrible example of literature that shouldn't be read by anyone -- especially those currently attending secondary schooling. On the other hand, I have read some decent books recently including Plenty and Animal Vegetable Miracle [] both of which have changed my life for the better.

I have watched some terrible TV shows such as Breaking Bad [] which held my attention for exactly 3 minutes during the opening sequence and dropped it when the main character was getting a hand job from his pregnant wife. I have also watched some great TV such as Arrested Development [] and Rescue Me [] .

I have listened to some pretty terrible music and then also gotten into some other really great stuff like Feist [] and The New Pornographers [] both of which are happy to allow you to distribute their live shows and which makes me support them all the more.

So while surfing the web, reading books and entertaining yourself in other ways is great for you, I do like to expand my horizons in many directions while not assuming that everything that appears on the TV is a pile of shit. Personally, I find people that are disconnected from TV an absolute bore as they have very little to talk about in the ways of popular culture that allows them to have something in common with the majority of Americans around them. People who don't watch TV are especially annoying when they continually let you know that they don't know Foo because they don't own or watch a TV.

I'm thrilled that they have made the personal choice to avert their senses from something they feel has no worth but for them to assume that the rest of us are mildly retarded for having a well rounded media experience is just ridiculous. Use TV as a part of your overall experience rather than the majority and you'll find yourself enjoying it a little more than you realize.

TV is not dead yet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22157132)

I have no problem with downloading something to watch on the bus - I've done it to play catch-up on shows I didn't start watching at the beginning, and to just grab basic plot and character points of something I'm not really all that interested in. But to actually enjoy the experience of watching well done television or movies (even if it's just technically well done, not necessarily well written), the two inch screen on my mp3 player, or even the 15 inch screen on my laptop, just can't compare to a darkened room, a projector, a 92 inch screen and a 7.1 surround sound system. And this is pretty much an entry-level home theater system.

At some point, it will be simple to play web content on a setup like mine. At some point after that, there will be web content (other than bittorrent downloads) of a quality high enough to look decent at 92". Not quite there yet. And even when we are, that's merely a change of source material - my viewing environment will be the same.

Re:Already has replaced it for the past five years (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22157166)

If there is a well-done TV show, I'll just download it off the bittorrent and watch it on the bus on the way to and from work.

That is not "the web replacing TV".
It is merely taking a small TV and VCR-like object on the bus with you, watching something you recorded earlier.

A pipe is a pipe is a pipe (3, Insightful)

djupedal (584558) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156390)

Analog TV...sure. It will when Google buys up the 700 MHz band and takes over next year.

Digital TV - nope.

Re:A pipe is a pipe is a pipe (2, Funny)

keith_nt4 (612247) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156628)

All we need is an antenna to receive Internet stream video/audio feeds...on TV. If only something like that already existed...

Re:A pipe is a pipe is a pipe (1)

LrdDimwit (1133419) | more than 6 years ago | (#22157060)

You're going to have an awfully hard time uploading data through an antenna. Internet access is bidirectional.

Use it Right. Re:A pipe is a pipe is a pipe (1)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156904)

Analog TV...sure. It will when Google buys up the 700 MHz band and takes over next year.

Don't you think that Google will be smart enough to use the spectrum as intended, for packet communications aka digital TV? Kind of like a pipe to YouTube? Yes they will take over, because that is already better than broadcast shit. If they break the last mile, it's all over for the old broadcasters.

Re:A pipe is a pipe is a pipe (1)

cmorgan47 (720310) | more than 6 years ago | (#22157112)

A pipe is a pipe is a pipe

that's what she said

Replace TV? (-1, Flamebait)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156410)

In many ways, it will, BUT the video-on-demand is still Tele vision, Distance vision, so in effect
it will be the same old story with a new set of words. I.E. more crap programming for the ignorant
masses. Did ANYONE 'Really" Love Lucy? I think not, but the same people who fell for the Stooges
as quality, will fall for the new medium. Pity. Sadly, critical thinking is being discouraged across
the board in order to cater to Industrie's needs, rather than the enlightened individual, and smart
citizen. Damn those Gay Niggers from Outer Space !!!!!!!

Bring on the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22156434)

pr0n tags... and links... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22156448)

Because, hey, it's better than the Goatse Channel. What is that, a test pattern?

Waiting for Chuck (2, Informative)

norminator (784674) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156470)

A number of sites are offering features describing broadcast/cable TV alternatives while you wait for that next episode of 'Chuck'.

I might point out that there are two new episodes of Chuck airing tomorrow night... of course, as far as I'm aware, those are the last two episodes written before the strike, so you can start waiting after Thursday night.

What a bunch of crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22156498)

There is no alternative to TV. Reruns are still better than 90% of the dreck on the internet. And considering most of TV is dreck, this is quite damning.

Most of the mentioned "alternatives" are simply web-based pay-per-view sites of the TV companies.

And random youtube videos and fan fiction is not a replacement for TV.

Maybe in years to come, but firm answer to the web replacing TV is NO NO NO NO NO!

Re:What a bunch of crap (1)

hawks5999 (588198) | more than 6 years ago | (#22157086)

There is no alternative to TV
Ever hear of a book?

It already has. (1)

rhpenguin (655576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156518)

In my case the web has already replaced my cable/satellite services. I torrent pretty much everything and watch it on my TV which is hooked up to a PC.
As far as web only stuff, I started watching the CTRL-ALT-DEL series. It's not that great.

Will the Web Replace TV? (1)

10bellies (978724) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156530)

Not while most ISPs have so-called 'Unlimited' services that have FUPs with obscenely low download caps.

I hope not (1)

jhines (82154) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156544)

Given that 1/3 of air time is commercials, I'm hoping no.

Will the Web Replace TV? (1)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156546)

The only channel you need... right here! []

Show me the quality (1)

shawnmchorse (442605) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156554)

And I don't (necessarily) mean the quality of program. I just mean the basic quality of video and audio. Currently most web videos are nowhere near the quality of even the old NTSC standard, much less HDTV. YouTube is just painful to watch, with the blocky videos in tiny windows.

Quality (1)

gnutoo (1154137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22157162)

YouTube is just painful to watch, with the blocky videos in tiny windows.

If it's not entertaining enough to watch at that size, you are better off doing something else. How long can time lapsed photos of flowers, for example, hold your attention?

Two things (3, Informative)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156570)

First, in the article outlining what's available over the web, they missed my favorite, that I highly recommend to all, Miro: [] - it's free and it supports Linux, OS X, and Windows.

Next, I'm going to shamelessly recycle one of my posts from another thread about Microsoft and others looking at internet over TV airwaves because if it comes to pass that that takes off, and if I'm right, then there may be a less-clear technical landscape for TV via internet than we might hope for today, especially for merging computers with TVs. (And, yes, I know most all HDTVs are already merging technologies on some levels.) Apologies if my point remains unclear, but it's this - I'm not ready to believe that commercial interests - led by Microsoft - won't yet win and screw us all. [] and []

Re:Two things (1)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156632)

Oops and BTW - Miro includes HD content.

Shhh, don't tell the BBC (2, Insightful)

Malevolent Tester (1201209) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156574)

I can't wait to pay a license fee for my computer as well.

Re:Shhh, don't tell the BBC (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156670)

Hopefully they don't get smart and restrict their iplayer stuff to British Empire IP addys only...I listen to BBC while I'm at work most days, and if I should lose my Dead Ringers and Museum of Everything access, I'd be very upset.

Re:Shhh, don't tell the BBC (4, Insightful)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156738)

At the risk of starting a flame war,
I don't mind paying the UK TV Receiving License ( pays for BBC TV and Radio and some other public service broadcasting)
As long as I don't have to put up with almost 20 minutes Advertising per hour.
I TIVO ( on my Humax PVR) many show on Commercial TV and fast forward over the adverts. I timed an episode of CSI recently. 41m 21sen in an Hour slot. Sorry, I have other things to do with my time. I don't want to watch endless adverts for Holidays or Sofa Sales or Making a Skoda out of Cake.
I expect that of the 'real time TV' I watch is on the BBC.
Yippee, The six Nations starts soon. No adverts while the players get set for a scrum unlike the endless ad breaks that American Footie is designed to give.
To those who decry the Beeb ( and sometimes they do deserve critism), try living somewhere where there is no real choice other than TV with Commercials every few minutes. You will soon say, come back BBC, all is forgiven.

Re:Shhh, don't tell the BBC (4, Informative)

Chrisje (471362) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156822)

Funny you should mention the BBC. The BBC is pretty much one of the very, very few channels for which I would sincerely love to pay every cent / penny they tax me.

In Sweden, France, Germany, Italy and pretty much most countries I have been to, the TV is abominable, including the State-owned channels... The BBC 1, 2 and 3 are a beacon of hope for high quality TV.

And I'm not being nationalistic. I am from Holland. In Holland, the only thing that comes close to BBC quality or even noteworthiness is Nederland 3.

International boundaries and Internet TV (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 6 years ago | (#22157130)

I completely agree. I think it's ridiculous that those of us outside of the UK can't just pay the license fee that British residents pay and get all of the BBC channels over the Internet.

Unfortunately, it comes down to bullsh*t licensing and protectionism. The TV stations and national networks don't want to lose the revenue that would be gained from pushing local/national commercials onto you. After all, if you spend all of your time watching the BBC, you're not watching commercials of local/national interest. The networks want to justify the costs of those commercials, so they write their international agreements to lock out viewing by people outside of that country. In my case, I'm sure that the Discovery Channel, which owns BBC America, would have a fit if the BBC allowed the US populace to pay for direct BBC access over the Internet because that would likely take away from the BBC America viewership.

It's the same kind of bullsh*t reasoning as to why people outside of the US can't buy MP3s from Amazon or iTunes even though there is technologically (and logically) no reason to prevent such sales. It all comes down to the money trail, and unfortunately we're not allowed to cross that trail to see what's happening on the other side. I'd love to pay the license fee to get the BBC over the Internet. Good luck on it happening.

Chad Vader (2, Informative)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156584)

I recommend Chad Vader [] , day shift manager. There's 8 episodes each about 5 minutes long.

Just listen to Tay... (1)

Qubit (100461) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156592)

"This is the web, and it's going to murder your TV! [] "
--Tay Zonday

Star Trek New Voyages & Of Gods and Men (1)

l33tDad (1118795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156616)

Star Trek New Voyages [] is an absolutely amazing fan "series" and Star Trek: Of Gods and Men [] is an amazing mini-series (only part 1 has been released) and that are ONLY available online.

Maybe try.... (2, Insightful)

j_edge (20712) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156642)

reading a book?

Maybe try.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22156922)

shutting the fuck up?

Among the masses or nerds... (3, Insightful)

ChrisPaulsworth (1225660) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156644)

Its easy for us to say the net has replaced TV but I think it will be a long time before it replaces it for less tech savvy people.

*very* far (1)

sir 8ed (207862) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156660)

"and though it's far from perfect, it is at least interesting enough to make you forget that you're watching it on a PC monitor.'"

yeah, i am going to have to go ahead and say "nope" to that.

The answer is :"Yes." (2, Interesting)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156686)

In this household there is no cable television, just a little OTA 19" set for when something major is going on which is pretty much never nowadays. The SO just likes the background noise.

But with services like Joost, and all the online movie sites that are already online or coming shortly it's looking more like television is dead.

I've also taken to watching the Real News clips on YouTube. I like the concept, it's essentially a publicly supported news gathering organization. I'd like to see local groups do the same in communities all across the country. The key difference with Real News is that it isn't just 30 second sound bites, they actually do a bit of analysis.

Will the web replace TV? (1, Insightful)

definate (876684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156716)


What a stupid question.

You'd think the billions being poured into this industry would give it away.

Or perhaps the ridiculous amount of lawsuits to stop the people, who are already doing it in droves.

I haven't had a TV since about 2000.

Next article!

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22156718)

I've already decided that when I cancel my cable subscription (soon, after I get around to watching The Simpsons Movie on demand) I'm gonna start reading more books. My brain is getting too mushy.

probably (1)

legoman666 (1098377) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156730) Hilarious episodes, doubly so if you have played the games that the show discusses. Tetris DS battle? hell yes, me and some friends in the dorm all had Tetris DS and played it religiously against each other.

Hell no (0)

EB FE (1208132) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156740)

I would never give up the production quality and wonderful continuity of awesome shows like Dexter and Desperate Housewives for some amateur crap. Maybe the web will replace "reality TV," but that's probably it. Plus, HD content is not stream-able over too many household net connections I know of.

Was this part of their plan? (1)

thtrgremlin (1158085) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156746)

I guess in the MPAA's attempt to bribe the government to outlaw social and cultural evolution to help preserve profits just got a bit more expensive. For their sake, I hope congress is cheaper and more gullible than their writers, but for our sake... YIPPIEEEE!!!

Whose brilliant idea was it to screw the customers AND the people that help them do it all at the same time? Must be part of that Hollywood Magic I keep hearing about.

Viva La Free Culture

Will the Web Replace TV? (3, Insightful)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156748)


I'm as much a computer lover as the next person, but there are a number of reasons why a TV currently and will always occupy a niche different from a puter:

1. Bigness. The gap is narrowing, but you can still get a bigger TV for less than a smaller monitor. As far as I can tell, more families have a room based off a TV screen than a computer screen.
2. Options. With monitors, it's either overpriced and pretty from Apple, or less overpriced and less pretty from someone else. With TVs, you can still pick a plethora of options.
3. Ease of use. The wiimote was so revolutionary, but the friggin REmote has been pretty much perfect for decades. It's simple, there's nothing extraneous like apps or downloads or email. You can switch back and forth between hundreds of options seamlessly, whereas on a computer you've got to load up the site and browse to the exact item. If you know what you want, the intarwebs are good, but if you wanna surf, TV is still better.
4. A lot easier to turn on/off.
5. No one is gonna sue you for making a tape of a movie.

The differences are narrowing, but for now, there's definite differences. Something kind of like AppleTV has a definite future in the world but we're still gonna sit around the set for the Super Bowl, not a computer (well, we will, but others won't).

Re:Will the Web Replace TV? (1)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 6 years ago | (#22157052)

Bigness. The gap is narrowing, but you can still get a bigger TV for less than a smaller monitor. As far as I can tell, more families have a room based off a TV screen than a computer screen.

HDTVs cost more than monitors, because they are monitors with a TV tuner. CRTs, even HD CRTs are disappearing from the market all together. TVs are now more expensive than computer monitors, across the board.

Re:Will the Web Replace TV? (1)

rossjp (688204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22157172)

People are so dumb. "TV's" as you all refer to them are really just fancy monitors, with different video inputs, user inputs, and resolutions. I can already plug my computer into my HDTV and do whatever i want, and it shows up on-screen in glorious HD. I don't think this is the question that is to be answered anyway. The question is will Web "programming" ever overtake TV "programming". And the answer is.......Yes. Someday. It won't happen while your Grandma Millie is still around, but it will happen. Competition will necessitate it. Computers (and the internet) will be ubiquitous. Now, who are the jerks who rated this guy's post as "Insightful." There was more insight in the mess I left in the toilet bowl this morning.

Internet for Live Sports? (1)

tji (74570) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156762)

I have never seen a reasonable solution for viewing live TV via the web. Specifically, sports programming. The various trials for this ( Masters coverage, NCAA Final Four ) have been unreliable, and very low quality when it did work.

Bandwidth will help this situation. But, we're still a LONG way from being able to service the equivalent of a TV viewer market for a big sporting event -- in HD. The total bandwidth required for that is off the charts.

I think my MythTV PVR with two ATSC tuners will continue to be used for quite a while. But, Internet services could supplement it, making it even easier to avoid expensive Cable/Satellite services.

That's the model I'm expecting.. My TV stays, regardless of the method for getting the content, the HDTV display device is needed. I continue to get the bulk of the programming I watch (NFL Football, NCAA Basketball, etc.) via ATSC broadcast, and Internet services fill in the rest (some cable shows (commercial free) via iTunes - such as The Daily Show, Sopranos, The West Wing, etc., HD Movie Downloads via iTunes or Netflix)

Cancel your cable TV and keep your Cable Internet (1)

Aneurism75 (1048530) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156764)

I cancelled my cable TV and kept my cable internet, and I still receive just over a dozen TV channels (including about 4 HD channels) over my 'internet only' cable line. Your mileage may vary depending on your cable company.

Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22156804)

I was one of the first people I know to not have a landline and use strictly a cell phone.. I now also haven't owned a TV in a few years, nor do I see the need to. I think many of us will still own giant TVs but the separation of "cable tv" and "internet" will cease to exist, I'd bet everything on it.

To quote Homer Simpson (4, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156820)

"Well turn SOMETHING on, I'm starting to think!"

A few alternative options.. (1)

zooppa (1225670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156828)

You can also watch regular TV instead of 2 minutes clips of this and that. A few channels broadcast live stuff via windows media. You can see some at sites like , but the overall quality isn't superb.

TV? No. Cable? Maybe. (1)

tji (74570) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156832)

The TV is here to stay, if for no other reason than being a good display device for the living room. Nobody is doing to switch to a computer display as their primary video display (other than slashdotters).

So, that nice big HDTV will be there, and some Internet-enabled device will be attached to give access to a wide range of video.. something like the AppleTV - but better. With some aggressive pricing plans (Netflix model: View all you want for $20/month) they give cable big problems.

But, that TV will also have an integrated HDTV tuner, ensuring your local broadcaster's value. They provide all the big sports programs, and expensive-to-produce TV shows.. It's there, it's free, and it's better quality than downloads. So, it will continue to be used.

Movies and shows out of copyright... (3, Interesting)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156836)

.. and in the public domain are just as entertaining today as they were in the old days. Google is great for that stuff.

other than sports, yes (1)

cmorgan47 (720310) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156876)

tv broke a couple of years ago and couldn't find a compelling reason to replace it. since then, started watching most programming online, or through "series DVDs" from netflix. recently, decided to buy a small LCD tv with DVD player built in.

the only thing i find myself watching on it, other than DVDs, is football. till i can get live sports online, there's a place for TV....although, in the years without a TV, the local pub filled that need.

"the quantity, quality..." (1)

MacarooMac (1222684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156940)

...and diversity of online video grows by the day"?

Quantity, quality of production and diversity -- Perhaps.
But quality of the actual material i.e. writing, dramatisation, performance? -- Not so sure.

If using the internet to download and watch televised shows such a Lost counts then I agree: Online video is replacing conventional tv broadcasting for many.
But if we're just talking about the online shows that are NOT also broadcast on tv then let's face it: as soon as any of these shows start to get *really good*, they'd surely be snapped up in a flash by a big publisher and aired on conventional tv aswell!

I don't know the in's and out's of the writers strike over in the US but perhaps what's happenning is some of these writers are doing some (hush hush) moonlighting [] for web-based productions and hence the quaility of online video is rising...

Where is my Internet video? (2, Interesting)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156954)

I'm still waiting for traditional cable networks (or even individual programs) to offer subscriptions, streaming HD content to my set-top box over the Internet. I don't even care if it's live. So much of what I watch is on the DVR anyway. Let me cancel my (evil) cable TV subscription and just get the shows or networks that I'm interested in.

Live IPTV would be nice too, but since you can't do QoS over the untrusted, public Internet, I'm not sure how you'd get CATV-style latency and reliability without violating "network neutrality".

Fox On Demand (1)

gsmalleus (886346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156966)

Fox recently released their free online Fox On Demand [] service. It requires you to install some software but the whole thing is web based and I have nothing but good experiences with it. New episodes appear on the service a few days after they air.

Not ready (3, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156982)

I prefer downloading torrents rather than watching a show on the web, but sometimes you can't find a show anywhere but on the TV stations website, so I watched one such show on, and err, I don't mind a commercial break, even if it's one commercial every ten minutes, but at least, PLEASE, don't make it be the same fucking el cheapo commercial every single fucking time!

I mean come on, what are you trying to achieve by showing your viewers the same commercial 7 fucking times during a TV show? Will I want to subscribe to Verizon because they interrupted my show 7 times to tell me that "Science is wrong, the world revolves around you" and that because of that I needed unlimited plans or whatever it was they were trying to sell to me (yeah, I saw that commercial like 30 times, I remember every word of it, except the last few which were about what they were trying to sell to me. Oh, and was it Verizon or Vodafone?)? Fat chance, I don't even live in the US!

My point? Oh yeah, if they want Web "TV" to go anywhere as serious as regular TV, they need to be serious about it. Showing many times during a show the same commercial that is so cheap that it doesn't even contain images filmed with an actual camera makes it sound like no one could even be arsed to find more than one company to advertise for, and that this company couldn't be arsed to produce a half decent commercial. I get the feeling that they have no clue what they're missing out.

TV has a bandwidth edge, not a content one (3, Insightful)

bfwebster (90513) | more than 6 years ago | (#22157084)

I wrote about this issue back in mid-2006 ("YouTube vs. Current TV [] ") and concluded with the following:

On our DirecTV satellite system, we have hundreds of channels, though fewer than we used to; we dropped all the movie channels when we discovered that we only watched one or two movies a month on them. Yet, outside of the local morning news/weather and occasional news channel updates, I seldom watch more than half a dozen shows and/or movies on TV each week. [Less than that now with the WGA strike going on.] By contrast, I suspect there are few days that go by in which I don't watch one or more YouTube videos, embedded in a blog or linked to in an e-mail I receive. In terms of total hours, I still watch more TV; in terms of discrete video productions, I watch more YouTube.
TV still has the bandwidth edge, and I now have several dozen HD channels coming in via DirecTV -- and just about anything is watchable when you watch it in HD. :-) HD video is starting to show up on the web, but the general quality level of web-based video is still low and slow. Until that problem is solved, TV will still have an edge. YMMV. ..bruce..

Not happening (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#22157096)

From the summary:

The quantity, quality, and diversity of online video grows by the day; and though it's far from perfect, it is at least interesting enough to make you forget that you're watching it on a PC monitor.

There isn't anything on the web that can make me forget I'm watching it on a PC monitor - because my computer room isn't nearly as comfortable as my living room.

Sure hope so (2, Insightful)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 6 years ago | (#22157158)

That's what I'm working toward. I don't want my video options dictated by a single local cable monopoly, and while Apple is heading in the right direction I don't want them limiting my options either.

Give me a single high-bandwidth data pipe to my TV, and source material & providers geared toward the TV-style viewing experience.

Cable/satellite/broadcast had their chance to provide what customers wanted: a variety of good material, without commercials, on demand or in a casual drop-in format. Like so many practical monopolies, they forgot who their customers are. Now that broadband exists, others can provide what customers want. Let's get a move on, people!

still waiting for *actual* alternatives (2, Interesting)

abes (82351) | more than 6 years ago | (#22157176)

I'd like to first state I don't have cable TV and I don't have an antenna either (which doesn't do much good in NYC anyways). I still watch TV through both legal (web sites) and illegal (torrents). I generally don't mind the ads, as long as they don't interrupt the show too much (though both ads that come up in the *middle* of a scene are really fucking annoying, as well as watching the *exact* same ad repeatedly .. I'm pretty sure there's a way of advertising without being a complete asshole..).

I also try the various alternatives out there. I do Netflix, so I can watch low-quality on-demand as well as old series over DVD. I use Joost, though their interface is really really (extremely) horrible, and their content is slightly better than that. For reasons I'm sure make sense to someone else, each 'channel' can only maintain a small number of shows, so you won't be able to watch an entire series of a television show, and only a small percent of that channel is watchable. Which means that while they have the opportunity to create a system where you can actually watch exactly what you want, when you want, trumping TV once and for all, they don't. They completely and miserably fail. Did Also, did I mention how horrible the interface is?

Someone else mentioned Miro. It's a fine idea. Only, I can't find any content I really care to watch, especially as most of it are snippets from full programs, and have a total length of 5 minutes. I know the 5 minute clip is supposed to be the next revolution, but I'm sorry, it really isn't. Sure, I watch the quick YouTube clip every now and then, but it doesn't replace a full-length TV show. Additionally, for actual revenue to occur, an add would have to be added, which would likely double the length of the clip, and make you watch ads for half of your viewing experience.

Do we have the technology for alternatives? Definitely. Is there a method of revenue currently in place for it? Probably .. companies are already advertising with some of these companies (e.g. Joost, NBC, ABC, Fox, etc.), though exactly how to manage is still being worked through (again, putting an ad mid-scene does not work). What's holding things up? Most likely things like stupidity, licensing issues (amount of content you can host), and lack of momentum (at least until the strike, people's appetites were sated enough).
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