This post will be the first in a series to assist anyone hesitating to jump into the world of streaming. You might want to stay tuned because streaming is the future, and the future is now.
Streaming. There, I said it!
This single word strikes fear in many. I’ve lost count how many times I have heard “that’s too complicated,” or “I can’t do that.”
Good news, I’m here to say YES, you can!
While streaming may be second nature to the under 40 or maybe even under 50 crowd, many, more mature folks believe it’s too technical to grasp. Believe it or not, in conversations, I’ll ask what they watch, and many have answered with something along the lines of “my usual cable channels, and Netflix…” But you don’t want to stream?
To help put streaming into perspective, we need to first visit the history of TV watching at home.
TV in the Early Years
For those of you who remember, when we watched TV in the 60’s and early 70’s there were four channels to watch, and the family’s youngest was often the remote.
At this time, TV was good. We were getting more and more color TV sets, ‘rabbit ear’ antennas allowed us to tune in without needing to adjust the big antenna on the roof and it was a given that ABC’s Wild World of Sports would be on the TV on Saturday afternoons. How many times did I watch that ski jumper crash on the bottom of the ramp while Jim McKay the announcer declared ‘…and the agony of defeat’. Fun fact, in that ‘Agony of Defeat’ ski jump, the ski jumper’s name is Vinko Bogataj. Bogataj was a Slovenian painter as well as a ski jumper. That infamous footage came from a jump at the Heini Klopfer Ski Flying Hillin Obersdorf, West Germany in March of 1970*. Go ahead and impress your friends with that new-found knowledge.
Why was that factoid about Vinko important to this blog? Two reasons, besides the fact that I love that clip.
- I found that information in seconds by a quick Internet search. Something we couldn’t even think of in the early 1970s.
- The clip is available on the Internet. If you’d like to see the original footage, I’ve included it for you here: https://youtu.be/CsvvhqpKRQ0
If you just watched that 15 second clip, I have a confession to make. I kind of tricked you, because you just streamed that video. Yes, you can stream.
The Cable Generation
Let’s fast forward to the late 70’s when basic cable TV began to gain widespread popularity. Believe it or not, even at that point, Cable TV was not a new technology, it had actually been around since 1948. The technology was developed as a solution for rural, mountainous areas to use a shared antenna, where traditional antennas were not functional.
You subscribed to Cable TV. Look at all these channels! Networks from Atlanta! Chicago! All with a picture that seemed crystal clear. Surely it couldn’t get much better than that Cable Box sitting on the coffee table with the wire strung across the living room floor.
Enter Video Rentals
The 80’s came and channel counts grew. So many options! But wait, now I can go to my local Video store and rent a VHS tape and watch any movie I want. I just need to remember to rewind, and not to forget it in the car and incur those late fees. Surely it couldn’t get much better than this. We were in a golden age of TV, and now video watching.
By the late 90’s DVDs were introduced. No more rewinding.
The early 2000’s saw the rise of the DVR, then the whole-home DVR.
Clearly it couldn’t get any better.
Next Stop, Streaming
The long-winded point here is that you’ve already learned, mastered and forgotten all the ways you’ve consumed video over the years. In fact, you’ve probably learned more than most millennials will ever need to on this matter. When it comes to streaming, it is no more difficult. It is simply the next step in the evolution of our video watching. The only difference is, the Internet is now your antenna, or cable, if you will.
In this series, we will explore the world of ‘Streaming 101’ and break it down to easy to understand pieces.
Stay tuned, we’ll be back after a word from our sponsor, HTC.