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Don’t Waste the Internet on TV?

Recently, Avner Rosen of Boxee debated Mark Cuban about the future of television.

I didn’t get to see the debate (GDC overlaps with SXSW) but I saw Mark Cuban’s post debate post. It’s actually kind of funny as Mark had always been a visionary in the past, but it is what happens when you make a major capital investment in things like HDNET it colors your perspective. His basic thesis is that either because “Application Specific Networks” or the large capital investments in distribution infrastructure are pretty efficient, there is no reason that TV will migrate to the internet.

AOL proved that “Application Specific Networks” are an excellent way to lose a whole lot of money. It was profitable while it lasted but AOL is now a shell of itself and has to reverse its walled garden to hope to keep the small business left. Mark’s comment that there isn’t a revenue model to get content providers to move is just funny. Napsterization comes to everyone. My big question for Mark, though, is how did those large capital investments in shipping, warehouse, and retail capacity work out for Tower Records…

As seems to be common in these major channel disruptions, people seem to be focusing on simply replicating the old distribution channel. TV over the internet is going to be about a lot more than just access to TV and movies. It’s going to be about being able to use video in new and different ways that will be impossible to replicate over a satellite and a waste of bandwidth over last mile connections that could otherwise be part of the total IP bandwidth of the last mile bandwidth instead.

I can’t wait to turn my TV provider off. We’re close.

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