|The days of needing one of these may very well be over in five years or under.|
I am aware that there are....less than legal ways to watch TV shows, but this post is aimed at the legal ways.
One thing I've been meaning to talk about in length, but only hinted at, is my dislike for cable packages. I like mostly premium cable shows (Showtime, AMC, HBO) over standard stuff (ABC, NBC, the CW etc..) it gets expensive for about 3-4 channels. The problem is that you can't get individual 'channels', you have to get the packages if you want HBO.
The thing is, take The Big Bang Theory, or Grey's Anatomy for example. Both are popular shows. But you don't 'need' a TV provider to watch them, as a few days later, the new episode is provided on the TV network's website for steaming for free. Also, that network may allow streaming or access to their shows (example Netflix) through other shows. But not HBO. Oh, no not HBO.
Say you sign up for Netflix, or some other such just to watch Mad Men. You are able to get access to AMC's programming without needing to subscribe to Rogers, Bell etc. With HBO, aside from buying DVD / blu-ray, the only way you get to see their shows is to add onto your current TV package. Can you sign up for just HBO, or choose to only watch Game of Thrones? Nope. And that I hate. If I could, I'd most likely only have two channels.
|Recycling and removing dishes in about 15-20 years?|
What I like about Netflix is this - you can choose what to watch, when you want. Tonight when I get get home from work, I'm going to watch a few episodes of season 3 of Community. I don't have to 'wait' for it to air on TV at 7:00 for example. And I don't have to 'subscribe' to the network to get it. Things come and go off of Netflix (which I dislike...), but I enjoy the 'formula'.
It should go like this - you get to choose what to watch. One should be able to subscribe to a network (AMC, HBO...) solely without needing another subscription tog et access to that. So you can pay.... $30 to subscribe to Game of Thrones, or $100 to get all the shows on HBO. And after you pay for them you get to keep them. The prices are listed are examples, but you get what I'm saying. You get them within a week of them airing 'on TV' (or maybe a few hours later, since you've got the service).
|This is what TV watching will become as a standard|
With Google (who owns YouTube, or is partnered with, or what have you), itunes, and other streaming sites (Hulu) or streaming boxes (Apple TV, which can feature itunes), there is big potential for streaming on demand which will blossom.
You should be able to watch Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire as easily as American Idol. I can understand it costing more to do so, but the method should be the same for all shows. With Apple TV and other 'streaming boxes', I know that's how things will be. You choose your material in an on-demand type format (as new episodes etc get added). Hopefully, the networks will understand that and go with it. If networks stay in the dinosaur age, it's no wonder their shows are getting torrented left and right. A good reason is accessibility. Do you know what the most pirated show is? Game of Thrones. Hmmm, which network does it air on again? Exactly. More accessibility = less pirating (not "no" pirating)