I am suddenly watching more TV or rather, video (TV shows, movies, Internet videos, etc.) over the Internet . I broke down and bought a Roku box the other day. If you’re not familiar with the Roku, it’s one of several set top boxes that hook up to your TV, download or stream video from various sources and play them on your big screen. Some of the the other best known devices are Boxee and Apple TV (not the rumored Apple televisions set, but a box that hooks to your existing TV that Steve Jobs called a “hobby”).
I bought the Roku because it’s the cheapest of the three and seems to have the most services available. I thought about getting an Apple TV because I am such an Apple fanboy and use ITunes quite a bit and the Apple TV has a built in integration with ITunes.
But the number of free sources on the Roku service won out. And if I subscribe to Netflix and HBOGO, I could have all the entertainment I could possible want. My goal is not necessarily to cut the chord on my cable service. But I wouldn’t mind cutting back to just basic cable. I’d need to have the service anyway if I wanted to get HBOGO.
I think all these devices are stop gap technologies that will soon be supplanted with something like the integrated television box (the rumored Apple TV, maybe), essentially a TV with a computer in it that connects directly to your ITunes and ICloud and has Siri in it so all you have to do is say “TV, show me cats playing pianos and any unwatched episodes of Boardwalk Empire” and it wills show you a custom menu with a list of YouTube videos and unwatched episodes of Broadway Empire. And you will speak to it again, “Show me episode 16 of Broadway Empire” and it will start streaming that show. NO MORE REMOTES!
And eventually it will start to speak to you when you walk in the room and say in a soothing voice, “You have 3 unwatched episodes of Glee, Dave. Would you like to watch them now, Dave?” Even though my name is Bob and maybe that will be creepy.
But beyond that, Siri or something like it will be embedded in your house and appliances and we will be talking to the walls and the walls will talk to us as they learn our preferences and that really will be the moment we will all live in a technical cocoon, wrapped in silk threads of fiber.