Mark Cuban, Television, And The Internet

English: Mark CubanImage via WikipediaThis was in the late 1990s. Bill Gates was trying hard to marry television to the internet. He called it WebTV. He failed. This was before broadband became mainstream. And still broadband is not there yet. I think gigabit broadband is where TV and the Internet become one.

This was in the late 1990s. Larry Ellison was after something he called the network computer. You would not have much of anything on the desktop. The network would have all the software you would need. Steve Jobs told him the technology just did not exist to support that. The richness possible on the desktop was leaps and bounds ahead of the richness on the browser. Again, this was before broadband, way before HTML5.

5G + HTML5 = Magic

Two titans were not seeing it straight. Positive spin would say they were futurists ahead of their times.

Mark Cuban Replies To My Tweet
Mark Cuban: Contrarian On The TV Business

The conventional wisdom in the industry is that we are almost there. We nailed the phone. Now TV is next. And we are almost there. Even Steve Jobs says so much in his biography. I finally cracked it, he declares.

Not so fast, says Mark Cuban. By personality Mark Cuban is someone you can expect to take a contrarian stand. As he does now. He makes some good points.

Mark Cuban: The TV Business Keeps Getting Stronger!

This is how I summarized his blog post earlier today in another blog post.

(1) TV shows are high quality stuff. Not just anyone can produce them. People like them.
(2) Video is content king. People like consuming content in video format. Much faster broadband might stand a chance but not the broadband we know. The Internet pipes just are not there yet.
(3) Ease of use is supreme. People want to be able to just turn on and watch. No browse and click.

I think all these points are valid. But by the time we hit universal gigabit broadband all three points will have fallen by the wayside.

(1) There's plenty of great quality music on the web. In fact, all the great music is there.
(2) Faster broadband will mainstream video. Video is already big on the web.
(3) People who design smartphones are better positioned than the cable TV people when it comes to simplifying the video consumption experience. I mean, we could get rid of the remote. Voice control, gesture control. There might even be mind reading.

Mark Cuban though makes a solid point that the TV people are not standing still. They are working hard to ease the complexity from another angle.

It is true that for the masses there are times when you just want to sit back and watch.
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