The Digital Media Age is Upon US

The United States has entered the digital age of information and media. You can reach all sorts of media legally now on the internet. The Apple (AAPL) iTunes store now sells music without digital rights management. Before you were restricted on how you could use your music since they restricted it to your iPod and the number of copies you could make. Now you actually own the digital copy to do whatever you please with it. If you wanted to watch TV shows on the internet, you were in shaky territory unless the show’s website happened to put up their episodes. Now there’s Hulu where you can watch old episodes, new episodes from NBC, FOX, Comedy Central and other networks. For a while you could stream sports games with paid online subscriptions. The rest of television has caught up. The US also has access to international television too with crunchyroll for Japanese animation and dramafever for Korean dramas. Of course these are subtitled in English soon after they are aired in their respective countries. These were available illegally and in the gray area of the law before, but now they will be completely legal with these new services. Right now, you can get all sorts of media all at your fingertips legally.

The digital TV switchover in February is only a month away with Obama calling for an extension after the switchover has already been delayed many times already. My take on it is that those people who aren’t ready now will never be ready until their TV goes out. When it goes out they will ask other people who can help them.

In the near future, I foresee you being able to tell your Sony (SNE) Playstation 3 to record TV and play it back anywhere with your Playstation Portable anywhere you have internet access. There are already computer programs that let you record TV and watch it anywhere, but having this on the Playstation 3 will make it accessible to the mainstream market. Right, now you can stream Netflix videos with the Microsoft (MSFT) Xbox360. The Nintendo (NTDOY.PK) Wii in Japan also has video streaming.

In the not too distance future, I see people going back to televisions or display devices after they become internet enabled. It will be like having cable television on-demand service for everything. Maybe buying stuff on the home shopping network from your television or researching more about something mention on the news.

Disclosure: I have current ownership in Nintendo.


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