Is broadcast television dead? Google announces Chromecast

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by DarthTom, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    ABC, NBC and CBS has struggled over the past few years to find a new hit series. AMC has found a new niche with the success of The Walking Dead and Mad Men. Recently I started watching House of Cards on Netflix and it's outstanding.

    Is network television dead? What is killing their ability to compete? Is it just as simple as FCC regulations or are their deeper and more profound problems with the format?

    If you were in charge of programming at any of the, 'big three networks,' what changes would you make to save them?

    Huffington
     
  2. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
  3. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Well, Sturgeon's Laws seem to not apply to AMC as they seem to have pumped out some high quality programming with TWD and Mad Men. HBO also has produced some very high quality programming. And Netflix now has entered the frey with House of Cards.

    In fact, non network programming, the "crud," as he describes it, is better in quality IMO than the bullshit that the networks put out. The networks most successful shows are reality TV e.g. Dancing with the Stars which IMO is the, 'crud,' not what is coming from the internet.
     
  4. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001
    Location:
    where it hurts
    Several things are hurting (not killing) broadcast TV:

    1. Timeshifting. Lots of shows get watched on DVR now, and ratings don't "count" as much when you do that.
    2. More time to fill. Broadcast networks have a lot more slots they need to fill with original programming than cable networks do, which means it costs them more to produce all the shows they do.
    3. Mass appeal. This is the biggest difference between cable and broadcast. On cable, a show with half a million to 2 million viewers per episode can easily be a breakout hit. On a broadcast network, those numbers would get you canceled in a hurry. Broadcast is built on a mass market model, and yet these days people want their specific niche catered to, which is what they get with cable.
    4. Obscenity regulations may be a small part of the puzzle, but they wouldn't be hurting the networks in any big way. Besides that, the TV rating system lets them show just about anything they want, as long as it's got an appropriate rating.

    Scripted programming just may not have much of a future on broadcast TV.

    Chromecast just sounds like a competitor to Apple TV, Roku, and game consoles (at least the web functionality/media center part.) It's already a pretty crowded field. Guess we'll see if Google brings anything new to the table.
     
  5. jayceee

    jayceee Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2012
    CBS can probably still compete will all their procedural shows, over the next few years. After that, it will be hard to say.


    - NCIS was attracting around 18-20 million viewers in its past season.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NCIS_(season_10)

    - "Person of Interest" was attracting around 14 million viewers in its past season.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Person_of_Interest_episodes#Season_2_.282012.E2.80.9313.29

    - Even "CSI" was still attracting around 10 million viewers in its past season.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSI:_Crime_Scene_Investigation_(season_13)
     
  6. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Agreed. Why then has AMC been able to program two mass appeal hits with Mad Men and TWD? Also, I don't know if HBO's Game of Thrones is mass appeal but it gets a lot of critical attention. Likewise, The Sopranos was a mass appeal show.

    Other than Dancing with the Stars and American Idol I cannot think of any mass appeal show the networks have on currently.

    Where is the new Seinfeld, Frasier, West Wing on broadcast TV?


    You're right. Comcast and Uverse should be more worried about these products per se than network tv.
     
  7. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001
    Location:
    where it hurts
    Just taking the Mad Men and Walking Dead examples, those get good numbers for cable. The latter gets amazing numbers for cable. WD gets good enough numbers for broadcast, actually. Mad Men would be on the fence, depending on the network and timeslot.

    Let's also not exaggerate "mass appeal" here. Mad Men's recent finale got 2.7 million viewers. That's very respectable for cable, but absolutely not good enough for broadcast--especially with what it costs to produce.

    Walking Dead had 12.4 million viewers for its finale, which is unusually high for a cable program, and would be a decent showing on broadcast (again, depending on network and timeslot.)

    Uhh, you do know that shows like Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, Glee, Grey's Anatomy, New Girl, Criminal Minds, How I Met Your Mother, Castle, etc. exist, right? Just because you aren't watching them doesn't mean they aren't popular.

    BBT averages over 18 million viewers per episode. Seinfeld was getting 38 million, on average, in its final season. Why the difference? You answered your own question: cable competition.

    It's not that broadcast networks are putting out worse shows, it's that cable networks are putting out better ones. Have we all forgotten that cable TV used to be the land of endless re-runs and low-budget trash? Now, it competes much more heavily with broadcast, and is chipping away at broadcast's viewership. That doesn't mean broadcast suddenly sucks.

    Why should they be "worried"? They are quite diversified and basically make money whether broadcast and cable themselves are doing well or not.
     
  8. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2001
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    There's a big difference between "I don't like police procedurals, network comedies, and reality TV" and the truth. A remake of NCIS scored 8 million viewers last week, twice as much as most cable shows excluding the Walking Dead will ever get.
     
  9. Mysterion

    Mysterion Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Location:
    SB-31, Daran V
    I may be an exception or in the minority, but:

    I am watching TV with an older analog set, a digital signal convertor box, and a rabbit-ear antenna. I live about 35 miles south of Seattle and receive 20 channels. Granted a couple of those are duplicates of each other - apparantly the station can't think of anything to do with the extra bandwidth, I guess. But, I get a clean signal (better than the old analog signals were), and it ain't costing me anything more than the electricity to keep it running.

    Sure, there are some programs on cable I'd like to see, but then I'd proably be spending way too much time infront of the box. And the really good stuff will be on disc at some point or another. In the meantime, I'm getting the news, and the network stuff, and I'm happy.
     
  10. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    A Long Time Ago...
    This Google Chromecast device is not that big a news. My $80 Blue Ray player gives me the same functionality to view youtube, netflix, yada, yada, yada - and it plays, get this, blue rays! (along with dvds and cds) I don't think Chromecast is any kind of game changing product.
     
  11. RAMA

    RAMA Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1999
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    Its portable. cheap, works with hdmi offers popular programming, plays anything on Chrome...and of course you find nothing significant about it. :techman::guffaw:

    RAMA
     
  12. EnderAKH

    EnderAKH Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, TX

    • I'll tell you why Chromecast is different:
      • Low cost of entry. Your bluray player costs $80. Apple TV costs $99. Roku starts at $49, which doesn't even have 1080p. That sets you back $79. Chromecast? $35. About the cost of two Blu-ray disks. They've already sold out of this thing everywhere.
      • More content options. Out of the box on Android and iOS it supports Netflix, YouTube, google play tv and movies, google music, and shortly Pandora. More content will come because it is reportedly a couple of lines of code in your app to add the Cast button, and that's it. In the meantime, it can send anything you can play in a chrome browser tab to your tv. So far people have done Hulu, HBO Go, and other popular streaming options. Anything you can play in your windows or Mac chrome browser window, you can watch on your TV. Easily.
      • Portability. It's a 2" dongle. Take it to your hotel room with you. Or your parents house. Or your friend's house for movie night. It goes in a purse.
      My wife, the Minister of Finance, has already authorized me to get 2. This is exactly what we've been looking for. It's cheap, it's easy to use, it's multi-platform (she's on iOS, I'm on Android), and "No more freakin' wires cluttering up my living room."
     
  13. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    To answer the topic header question, I would say not. As for question is US broadcast tlevision dead, I can't say. but things to consider:-

    Not everyone lives in a cable aera or has Satelite TV so that leaves old fashioned broadcast TV.

    The problem is 90% of TV is rubbish, and with so many TV channels these days. It can be easier to find something better to watch.
     
  14. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    A Long Time Ago...


    • An HMDI cable from your PC to your TV would be cheaper. Still not seein' the big "wow" factor here. Hell, my phone has HMDI out and access to all of the content mentioned already.

      Oh, and in other news, seems Netflix on the Chromecast no longer comes with 2 free months.

      Your ignorance at technology is showing through again. My 2 year old Android phone can do all of that and more.

      If you read the details of this thing all it really is is a wifi connection that forwards an HDMI signal to your TV. They've just abstracted a software layer that Google can control to channel you through their portal. It lets them set a standard that other companies have to abide by if they want their content accessible from Google's device. They package it to make it easy for the consumer, but it's really just an example of Apple style content control.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  15. Data's Cat

    Data's Cat Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    There's nothing to watch! The sitcoms are geared towards idiots, the crime shows are all clones of each other (and too graphic!), and the reality shows got old long ago.

    I hardly ever watch TV. I get my news online, I watch movies and classic TV shows from my own DVD collection and stream online from many free sites.

    Is that a one time cost? No monthly cost? There's so much I can stream for free, I'm not sure there would be any advantage to it.
     
  16. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001
    Location:
    where it hurts
    Seriously. You can do the same thing with any laptop/desktop/phone/tablet with an HDMI-out port, and without needing a proprietary device!
     
  17. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    A lot of people like plug-and-play stuff and Roku for example is easier to use for your average consumer. Roku unit ~$80 - $120 for higher model versus much less for Chromecast. This IMO is the same reason why Apple products are so popular with the masses - their ease of use.
     
  18. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001
    Location:
    where it hurts
    Look, I'm just taking issue with the idea that this is something new and novel. It's not. The only thing Google's bringing to the table here is a lower price. I laud them for that. I might even buy one (or more.) But they're in no way a market leader in this product space.
     
  19. DarthTom

    DarthTom Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    Understood. On a related note, I wonder if the network TV stations could launch a more adult oriented brand and programming [e.g. Games of Thrones, Walking Dead et al.] under their brand name to loophole their way around FCC regulations and offer this programming on Roku/Apple TV/Chromecast with commercials?
     
  20. Robert Maxwell

    Robert Maxwell Comfortably Numb Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2001
    Location:
    where it hurts
    That's what cable is for. They can't do that on broadcast. The FCC doesn't even let one company have multiple broadcast networks.

    They could air more "adult" stuff, using a proper content rating, but even then the FCC might decide to slap them with obscenity fines. It's just not worth it to try.