Television and the Internet are separated technologies that are bound to become one. The market is already saturated with “smart TVs” that allow users to engage Internet programs like Skype as well as watching their favorite television channels. Many clips from television shows can be found online via YouTube yet somewhat shockingly in this day and age, television channels are not available for viewing on the Internet. Although many television stations such as Syfy have “channels” on YouTube, the Internet has been slow to allow users to watch live-streamed TV from a website. Even more astoundingly, no one has yet made serious measures to archive old television shows that are no longer running on air.
An online archive consisting of television shows and movies would allow anyone, from anywhere in the world, to access any episode of any show whenever and wherever they chose to do so. Hence, no show would be truly “off air” since everything would be available to everyone. If such a system was put in place on a free website like YouTube it would be one of the biggest Internet sensations in years. Additionally, the copyright holders of the shows, and those with royalties in the programs, would be paid a certain amount every single time the media was viewed. Surely, there must be a way to work this out legally as it would be rewarding for everyone involved. Fans would be able to watch any television show that they pleased whenever they wanted to view it and those involved with the show would be getting paid per view. Surely, this would be more lucrative than owning the rights to shows that are no longer on air and that very few people are willing to pay to own and view.
For example, the famous television painter Bob Ross recorded many episodes of his show "The Joy of Painting" throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Despite being deceased since 1995, Bob Ross still has quite a fan following and whenever his videos are uploaded on YouTube they attract many views…until they are removed due to copyright infringement. Undoubtedly, if the Bob Ross Company was able to make a deal with YouTube that allowed YouTube to legally upload the “Joy of Painting” episodes, then it would lead to happier fans, a complete collection of the episodes being readily available, and more revenue for the company. The same can be said for mostly all shows and movies.
Although the infusion of television and the Internet has moved at a shockingly slow pace, there is an increasing demand to infuse the two media. In recent news, a company known as Aereo made New York Times headlines when they announced that they are expanding their business to reach more consumers. For a fee, Aereo gives subscribers the ability to watch television from their Internet-accessing devices. This is the first major attempt for television and the Internet to be indefinitely connected. The downside is that Aereo service is not yet available everywhere, it must be paid for, and there is still a total lack of archives in which to view outdated shows. However, the invention of Aereo is a step in the right direction to revolutionize the way that people watch TV.
Making media more readily available to users is essential to education. After all, the more one is exposed to then more one learns. From picking up comedic cues on “I Love Lucy” to learning how to master painting with Bob Ross, television can be instrumental in expanding ones’ mind. Furthermore, online learning is about more than simply mastering academic lessons; it is about learning how to guide Internet systems to meet their full potential and continuously expanding that potential.
Increasing the availability of television shows online is one way to improve the technical systems that we already have in place. Additionally, it is a means to further combine television and radio networks into Internet-based conglomerates that can bring entertainment and news to a global audience at a more rapid and on-demand pace than ever before.