By Roger Takacs
National Sales Manager – Strategic Accounts at Crestron Electronics
I believe I was an early adopter of the DVR back when the choice was Tivo or ReplayTV — I chose a ReplayTV. Three hard drives and nearly five years later when we upgraded to HDTV, my trusted ReplayTV was officially dead. The S-Video signal was no match for component or the new HDMI.
Many people will credit Netflix with the advent of binge watching TV, but I can assure you all the early adopters of DVRs were binge watching TV well before Netflix was streaming. We would often keep several episodes of a show on the hard drive before watching them all at once and using that great 30 second skip button. Five skips and you were back in the show. Once we got our first remote control system and I could have one button that automatically fired the five skips as fast as the ReplayTV would take the commands, it was awesome.
Today, we have a single DVR from Time Warner and every time the hard drive dies we get the latest DVR. That doesn’t limit us to a single HDTV program. Time Warner seems to have embraced technology and multiple platforms really well. The Roku box allows us to view live HDTV channels through the Time Warner app just like the Samsung TVs that have the app built in. We can watch anything in any room of our home.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re wondering why I mention the cord cutters. I can only skip commercials on my DVR. This means that when I use the app on my Samsung TV, Roku or any of the mobile tablet or phones in the house I watch live TV. TV networks seem to always want to fight technology, believing it to be bad for them. In this case, I have to disagree completely.
The more access I have on my phone, tablet and devices to TV where and when I want it, the more likely I am to watch something in real time. DVRs are the best device ever created to time shift TV. Skipping commercials was a great bonus of time shifting. If I can watch what I want when I want, I no longer need to time shift.
Once the TV networks recognize that as consumers we are looking for convenience more than anything else, I hope they can stop fighting access to live programming while using apps. The most profitable viewers for the networks are the early adopters that will watch TV when it’s convenient and live.
It’s very simple: Give me live access to sports on the go so I can watch from anywhere and I’ll watch them with your commercials. Prevent me from watching on the go and I’ll time shift my viewing and skip your commercials.
As it relates to cord cutters, give them access to live programming. They will be the most profitable viewers the network has, at least using the old model of advertising based revenue.
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