John Hendricks Founder and Chairman, Discovery Communications
The television platform is great for that long-telling of a story, whether that's told in 30 minutes, an hour or 90 minutes. We think that's here to stay. Our goal is to try to play on all of those platforms, tell these wonderfully crafted stories on the big screen, and get to where the consumer tends to migrate over time to closer-to-reality experiences. That's why we went to high definition early on. We knew consumers would migrate there. That's why we've launched our 3D channel, to give people that closer-to-reality experience.
Ultimately, I'm convinced we will get to what I call RD3D media, which is retinal definition, three-dimensional media where it's almost indistinguishable from just looking out a window, for example. I think when we get the pixel density about eight times where it is today in high definition, and when we solve some of these lingering issues with 3D television without glasses, and we think that's certainly workable at that pixel density over the next 10 years, so we want to be on those platforms too.
Decades ago, watching TV was a social experience; people made time to sit in front of their sets together to watch their favorite shows. Today, people tend to watch TV as part of multitasking -- while cooking, eating or even surfing the Internet. The TV of the future will expand on that multitasking experience, letting you connect to social media from the TV while you watch your favorite show. According to a report by Research group In-Stat, a short-term goal is that all TVs will have Web-access hardware by 2014 [source: World TV PC]. This will support a hybrid environment that blurs the lines between television and Internet experiences.
Jonas Hemmingsen, CEO of MediaCom Nordic, believes TV can do more than provide a platform; he says TV will become a multitasking medium. Hemmingsen says that people in the younger generation (those between 15 and 24) are more inclined to use the Internet as a source of entertainment, so TV will have to catch up to remain relevant. The goal is for users to choose their own content through video-on-demand services, saving time and giving viewers more choices. Because the TV experience will be more personalized, targeted television advertising also will become more common, based on specific TV-watching and household profiles [source: MediaCom].
The TV of the future also will need to have more interaction among media devices. You can already stream movies through your Xbox 360, but in the future you'll also be able to connect through your cell phone to choose what you want to watch on your TV screen or use your TV to order a pizza. The Valups Tivizen and the Mobile Razor LED TV are two technologies already available. The Tivizen is a mini-TV receiver that lets you stream television to your mobile devices and the Mobile Razor is a battery-powered mobile LED TV. In the future, 3-D imaging (already available in some TV models) could be added to these devices to enhance the "mobile TV experience" even more.
If more advanced systems, like Runco's WindowWall, catch on, then the possibilities will be even greater. WindowWall is a nine-panel modular display system. Each panel is 46 inches, so together they can transform an entire wall into a giant display screen. The panels can be synchronized so you can watch a single movie, or they can be used separately, so you can multitask with multimedia in megaways [source: Engadget]. When you're not watching TV, the panels can display a single image, like a flowing river or an ocean view.
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