Thursday, October 1, 2009

500 Channels And Nothing On

Remember the 500 TV Channel future we were promised?

Today, of course, in the age of Hulu.com and Netflix, a mere 500 viewing options must seem like a rather quaint idea.

Yet, even as the means of access to the existing stock of programming explode, television as such is proving a profound disappointment.

The problem isn't just the abundance of lousy content (I watch with dismay as the reality show format goes from strength to strength), but in many respects, the sheer scarcity of content (relative to the nominal viewing options, of course)-as the same pool of material is stretched thinner and thinner over an expanding number of channels, as the variety of content the abundance of outlets was supposed to offer contracts with the media empires owning them homogenizing and synergizing their programming, and of course, as mind-numbing infomercials swallow up ever more hours on ever more channels.

To top it all of, the cable companies have taken to pulling channels from their "basic" packages and using them to puff up their more expensive "extended" service packages.

Once again, reality falls far short of the giddy promises of the Silicon billionaires, but then it seems that people are very, very good at never learning anything from the disappointments of techno-hype.

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