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What's Holding Back the Digital Living Room?

What's Holding Back the Digital Living Room? - New York Times

I'm a fan of David Pogue of the New York Times and Missing Manual fame. There are some interesting points he brings up here. However, the main reason I think that the digital living room hasn't taken off has been bandwidth. Steve Jobs believed that it was the fact that people didn't want to interact with their tv. Internet television isn't, necessarily, about interaction. Nor is that the main value. The greatest promise with iTV has to do with freedom from the program guide. Even with cable, we were stuck with watching something only in a particular timeslot. Unless you were free at that moment, or had mastered your vcr (and avoided any quirky problems), you were hosed. Now, we are seeing "On Demand." I can watch what I want, when I want. That is where the demand is.

With all due respect to the Great Oz of Cupertino, people do want some degree of interactivity with the tele's. Look at the success of shows like "American Idol," which brought in people in droves, spending 10 cents a shot to vote. Made money for the network, for the advertisers, and for the cellular carriers. And folks were entertained. I guess that's the ultimate win-win.