Can TV's and PC's Live Together Happily Ever After?
By RICHARD SIKLOS
The New York Times
HOLY Grails, swirling myths and big lies seem to be in the air these
days - and we're not just talking about a certain heavily publicized
movie opening this week that is based on a certain megaselling novel.
Rather, consider the much-ballyhooed convergence between television
and personal computers (a k a the grail), which seems to edge ever
closer with every week.
Slowly but surely, it seems that TV programs and movies are finding
their way onto the Internet through a growing array of distribution
Just in the last few weeks, for example, Warner Brothers announced it
would make hundreds of its hit films and shows available this summer
for paid download via the file-sharing site BitTorrent; Fox
Entertainment has joined the other major networks on iTunes with
downloadable episodes of "24" and "Prison Break"; TiVo announced a
deal with the Web video outfit Brightcove that intends to give people
with TiVo boxes access to Internet fare on their TV sets; and ABC and
CBS have begun streaming replays of some of their most popular shows
on their Web sites, offering a new advertising-supported way to tune
Even though no one seems to be making much money yet on these ventures
and there are still chewy legal and rights issues to sort out, there
is palpable excitement -- a sense that the TV and movie industries are
going to head off the pirates and file-sharing teens by making their
products widely available online in legal ways.
In doing so, it seems the ultimate no-brainer that anyone with a fancy
TV monitor and a broadband Internet connection will next be able to
pluck their favorite TV programs and movies off the Web (and
eventually choose to disconnect their cable or satellite provider, or,
as I've written previously, at least force the cable operators to
offer smaller and more appealing packages of channels).