I am excited about the next wave of Personal Digital Video recorders for one simple reason. It would get me in touch with the content the way I want to consume it, as much as I want to consumer and whenever I want to consume it. The caveat would be to consume it for a fixed flat monthly fees; unless you are talking about watching the whole gamut of the re runs of the crap American sitcoms or Hollywood bullshit.
Broadband’s fat pipes would ensure this to come true. With the rapid integration of the services, Broadband is slowly moving in our lives and we are truly becoming integrated. While this may be a heavy demand on our resources and short attention spans, I am not going in those details. Imagine a cell phone streaming the live updated messages (possible by Blackberry), the RSS feeds that you have subscribed to (on your cell possible via Opera Mini), free access to the ubiquitous Gmail (on WAP), your own personalised TV channels (on Myth TV) and the power of all pervading Linux boxes powering those nifty details. (While there are many other alternative options to Myth TV, I would ONLY endorse Open Source applications. Opera is the ONLY closed source application that gets endorsed- for one simple reason. They have created a viable model based on closed source while being fully committed to the idea of Open Standards for web as well as software).
The so called next wave of “web 2.0” is for real and would be powered eminently by Broadband; because that is the only way content can be streamed and reached out to you. Arguably, I still have to invest time and resources in setting up a permanent kind of an integrated web page but when I look back, the whole services I subscribe too are way too scattered. I should be able to blog, check feeds, work on word processors et al from a single interface.
Broadband alone has made this effort worthwhile.
Flashback to 1996 when the TCP/IP accounts were first opened up for the public at a princely sum of Rs 10,000. People had fallen over for the “cyber cafe” craze. There were dudes who put up ancient Pentiums in five star hotels, skimpily clad females serving coffee and making some impression on the “clients” who came on in;some lucky guys probably banged them for whatever their buck was worth. (It used to cost over a 1000 bucks per hour-hey to surf online!). Things have changed to an extent that opening up a Cyber cafe isn’t a worthwhile proposition now at all. For all that is worth it, the current slump does not justify for the break even earnings too. No. You would not find skimpily clad females either. Move on with life!
Broadband has clearly changed the rules of the game. I remember the times when couple of my friends used to search around for underground network guys to source their software needs. Or just plain pirated films. Or depend heavily on the “freebies” handed out by the computer magazines. Which incidentally boosted their sales for otherwise totally insipid content. We used to have a massive collection of useless software et al. Broadband has totally changed over the rules of the game. Axxo rules for the movies. Torrents/ Limewire has made the software piracy a nightmare for the peddlers which again is a no brainer. Underground piracy still thrives; nevetheless it has not made much impact in the hinterland where the demand for smut movies is always there.
(The links are only suggestive about the available means for accessing content and I DONOT ENDORSE them in ANY MANNER whatsoever).
Not to mention the “podcasts” and viral videos. They are a swell and we just might be seeing the return of the one minute movie formats. You Tube is powering much of this phenomenon.
In all Broadband would radically alter the rules of the game. However, uninformed as the Indian customer is, it would be time before be could free ourselves from the clutches of the assinine load limits and ISP’s dictating the way we access content/ services. Think about net neutrality(1, 2, 3,4 ); something that I feel needs to be debated across a wider spectrum.