We will ALL be metered to death for bandwidth consumption in an a-la-carte TV channel universe.

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One of the results of the merger between Comcast and TWC will be how Comcast plans to halt the cord cutters and deal with the calls for unbundling the current TV landscape. Pay and cable TV are ripe for disruption. The writing I think is on the wall.

OTT (over-the-top) IP channels exist because they are carried into your home via IP. So is Aereo. And soon, so will most other channels today that we all watch on cable. The days of bundling 180 ‘basic’ channels while offering an option to buy ‘Pay’ TV channels with your ‘basic’ subscription monthly is outdated and no longer reflects the current TV landscape. The move to get the set-top box out of the living room is happening. The result? We will no longer have bundled channels or packages of ‘programming’.

Instead, think about this.

Just like the electric meter gets read every month and we pay for the amount of electricity we use, our TV will also become metered. The bandwidth caps will melt away and in its place will be a connection that Comcast will provide — but strictly for bandwidth. Then, as you decide which channels to watch on TV, whether its HBO or ABC, CBS or The History Channel you will be billed for the amount of time each and every channel is turned on in your home, incrementally.

That’s right. Watch HBO for several hours a night and you’ll be billed for this at some rate. (That ‘rate’ might be higher than if you watched VH1 or Spike TV, or lower if you watch ESPN). Want to see ABC and your local news, well that’s a slightly different rate. All channels will be delivered via IP. You will get notified throughout the month when you approach a set tier or amount that you decide is your ‘cap’. Or you can simply keep watching and pay the bill at months end. The bills won’t be too different but now will reflect the REAL usage in the home.

Since you’ll be getting the Internet already through Comcast’s coaxial cable, why not deliver every channel that exists in the TV universe and YOU decide what to watch. Cord cutters can’t cut the cord under this plan — they need bandwidth too (to see Netflix, Hulu, etc.). A DVR you say you need? No problem, Comcast will supply you one over the Internet (a software DVR).

Why might this happen? It eliminates expensive set-top hardware, allows for subscribers to watch whatever they want (package or bundled channels now melt away). It puts all channels on an even playing field. Sure HBO, Netflix, Showtime, etc. might have a minimum monthly charge, but just like electricity, you’ll watch them when you need to and you’ll be bale to see over time your usage patterns, favorite channels and genres and in turn the TV will become smarter because we’ll make it smarter (and make it a very personal experience) to watch, just as its always been.

Now, let me set my ‘soft’ DVR for ‘The Walking Dead’ tonight on AMC. The only time I watch AMC all month is for this show, so I’ll be billed for about 4hrs. a month for AMC during the ‘Walking Dead’ season. And I’ll be happy to pay that bill!

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Facebook is Twitter for those never understood what Twitter ever was and is. “I was often asked — why do you use Twitter? To post what you had for lunch today?”

ImageIts a funny thing. When Twitter first showed its face online, my friends would say ‘ c’mon, you can’t be serious. What would you ever use Twitter for? To post what you just had for breakfast or where you are going today? That’s really incredibly stupid and besides, who cares?’

Every morning, I open Twitter and read through many the posts from the people I follow (who know more about a particular subject matter than I do that interests me). I follow them because they are SME’s (subject matter experts) and typically they will post something with a link as back-up about subject I have chosen to read about. This saves me hours a week in not having to sort and peel through the avalanche of media to find these articles of interest myself. They do all the work for me (or most of it).

Well, most of my friends predominantly use FB and not Twitter. I’ve tried to get some of them to use Twitter like it should be utilized — as a firehose of short snippets of information with a link, laser focused on what’s interesting for YOU to read. Twitter is NOT about posting what you had for lunch — never was and never will be.

After 8 + years of being on FB (and I joined in January of 2006), FB is now evolving into the place where my friends post these very personal things that they themselves said they’d never do post online — like ‘ what they had for lunch’ or where they went today or what they bought.

While I don’t mind sometimes looking at one of my friends new dog collars they bought today or the kind of ice cream cone they ate after lunch, I find it more than a little ironic that what they once all thought and called ‘stupid’ on Twitter (i.e. what they had for lunch) are now the prevailing and hot topics of the day along with numerous ‘likes’ from others. Some people I think post things to just see how many ‘likes’ they can get. (disclosure — I do contribute to this by posting 1 ‘happy caturday’ cat picture every Saturday — my excuse? I love cats).

The younger generations (who are fleeing FB in droves) actually post or re-post articles about the environment or health related topics, etc.. Things that I do find of interest to read sometimes. As a result of all this, I find myself spending less and less time on FB, quickly scanning all the nonsense posted. Granted, I enjoy the baby, cat, dog, pictures etc. But I find myself stopping in to FB less and less each week, giving FB one less returning visitor/user statistic on a daily basis. I like being in the minority.

 

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