The end of TV as we know it?

(This article was published in The Economic Times (Networked section), 23rd November 2000 issue)
End of tv graphic
“Societies have always been shaped more by the nature of the media by which men communicate than by the content of the communication…. Innumerable confusions and a profound feeling of despair invariably emerge in periods of great technological and cultural transitions. Our “Age of Anxiety” is, in great part, the result of trying to do today’s job with yesterday’s tools – with yesterday’s concept’s.”
Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Message, 1967

With the Indian government’s recent decision to allow private companies to own and operate their own gateways to the Internet, it wont be long before we start seeing broadband Internet access making inroads into the Indian market. Whether this is in the form of DSL, cable access, Wireless (3G etc.), Direct to Home Satellite based (DirecPC etc.), or any other technology its impact on the traditional broadcasting industry (amongst others) is inescapable. Content will be the main driver for mass-market broadband penetration, with users migrating to broadband seeking a better Web experience despite the stiff initial price. Although later price cuts will help push up the number of subscribers to double (or more), compelling new content will be the key to attracting the average person to broadband.
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