Watching TVIf you grew up in the pre-TiVo era, you probably remember having to structure your life around the shows you wanted to see. Either that or you were really good at programming your VCR. Well I never got that function down quite right and at best ended up recording an hour worth of static.

Now that the digital age is truly upon us, we are able to view programming at our leisure and many of us have completely moved on from our trusty old satellite or cable provider in favor of online services. But that sometimes means we have to make sacrifices when it comes to the shows we watch and when we can watch them. That too is changing. Original content via cable TV typically comes from Home Box Office (HBO), cable.tv, Showtime and the like, but Netflix wants to get in the game by offering exclusive content via a streaming service without a cable subscription.

Netflix Offers Exclusive Content

Netflix debuted its first exclusive series, “Lillyhammer,” in January 2012. Netflix is trying to combat traditional television by adding whole seasons at once for viewers to control the pace at which they watch a season. Wired reports “Arrested Development” is being born again for an exclusive run on Netflix. It also reports the two first seasons of the Kevin Spacey project, “House of Cards,” will air exclusively on Netflix.

Wired says Netflix wants to overcome what traditional networks lack: access to people's viewing habits and preferences.

“We know what people watch on Netflix and we're able with a high degree of confidence to understand how big a likely audience is for a given show based on people's viewing habits,” Netflix communications boss Jonathan Friedland tells Wired. Some cable TV providers are trying to compete with streaming companies like Netflix.

Cable TV Streaming

Streaming-video company ivi attempted to be considered identical to a cable-TV system. A New York Second Circuit Court of Appeals, according to Forbes, turned the lawsuit down. The court ruled ivi's retransmission of broadcast-TV signals over the Internet threatened the entire industry.

The federal court ended ivi's effort to provide 4,000 channels of broadcast TV to nationwide consumers for $4.99 monthly. The court's reason: Allowing streaming Internet operators to snatch TV signals from the air and transmit them across the country would “threaten to destabilize the entire industry.”

The cable industry is fighting back and creating streaming services of its own. IP&TV News interviewed Bob Zitter, EVP and CTO of HBO, who acknowledges technology is the “major catalyst for change in the television business.” As part of the cable industry competition, HBO is evolving and started its own exclusive streaming service for subscribers.

HBO's Streaming Service: GO

“HBO GO is the enhancement to the service we provide for free to HBO subscribers that enables them to enjoy all our programming when they want, wherever they want, on whatever device they wish to us,” he says.

Subscribers, Zitter says, can access HBO series, its entire program library and new theatrical films on their computers, tablets, smart phones, game consoles and Internet-connected TVs.

Changes that came about because of advances in technology aren't new, Zitter acknowledges. For instance, satellite technology enabled the creation of a range of national, regional and international television networks. Digital production lowered the costs and improved workflow to make programs while digital distribution improved the quality and quantity of program choices, he says.

High-speed Internet brought video programming to new categories of consumer devices used in and out of the home, Zitter adds.

“Mobility and portability of video program distribution will, in my opinion, have a profound impact on the television business,” Zitter tells IP&TV News. “As viewers are able to consume programming outside the home, so many opportunities arise and will evolve.”
About the Author: Lori Mcneil Lori had a change of career when she had her first kid and started to make fashions for kids. She loves writing about the latest tech for kids too.

It's Complicated: The Rocky Romance Between Online Streaming and Cable TV 1

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