Starting back in the twenties, we had black and white silent films, then come along the huge innovation of sound putting real acting on the map. Then we added color to our films and in the late 50s, many American families were thrilled with TV. We were still going to the movie theaters until the mid-70s when the eight-track and Arnold came along. Remember the blockbuster action movies that became bigger and bigger, drowning out the fact that Arnold could not speak English. Then the DVD came along putting it on smaller machines lasting until the first part of the millennium.
The invention of the eight-track player prompted a whole new movie market. Video rental companies sprung up everywhere. Leading the curve was Blockbuster. In 1985 founder David Cook opened the first Blockbuster store in 1992 there were 2800 stores. In 1994 Viacom bought Blockbuster for $8.4 billion. In 1997 Reed Hastings created a startup called Netflix, partially because he was hit with a $40 late fee on a Blockbuster video. In 2004, Blockbuster is at its peak with 9000 stores. In 2010, Blockbuster files for bankruptcy. So as can be seen through the history of Blockbuster, the video rental business was short but lucrative. The reasons will be illustrated in the below narrative.
In the ’80s cable networks brought a whole new venue to the stay at home, television people. HBO, Showtime, Fox, and the Turner Broadcast Cable networks sprang up, giving subscribers an excellent choice of programming, hence attracting a huge amount of the population to spend their time watching television. But the fees for each cable channel handicapped the poor section of the country who opted out, for card games around the kitchen table while watching the same old free TV. Then DSL came along in the late 90s forcing cable to now include internet access with their cable television products. The need for internet access started enticing more of the population to turn their hard-earned paychecks to either DSL or Cable. The market for networks, both DSL and cable, grew significantly, and to keep their market shares, network providers innovated bigger and better platforms, bringing in fiber to the door starting in the first part of the millennium. With fiber, around 2010, came high-speed data, and with high-speed data came VoIP, social networks, and YouTube.
The innovation of smart, high definition televisions (HDTV) also played an important role in our entertainment markets increasing at astronomical rates. The role out of HDTV was complicated, the first HDTV’s appearing in about 2000. Even if a customer wanted to purchase an HDTV, the price was huge and since HDTV requires a television signal protocol well more enhanced than the normal TV at the time, there was no programming available. In the ’70s and ’80s, Japanese Television Broadcasting Corporation, also termed NHK, started work on wider screen TVs with a higher Aspect ratio (higher resolution). In the ’80s, the company showcased its first Beta types for HDTV. It was wowing the markets with amazing clarity and size. NBK’s idea was to export it to the west. Resistance crept in as the cause and effect of HDTV replacing regular TV became apparent to the American industry. Whole new semi-conductors would have to be developed, changing the television industry and a large part of the semiconductor industry in significant ways. Television production would need to be changed with new digital cameras. High-speed data networks would have to immediately expand, and signal processing would have to be with two different protocols, one for analog TVs and one for digital TVs, at least for a while. Aggressive incentives to get rid of the analog TVs needed to be in place so that the industry could concentrate on the new digital TV and its backbone to deliver the data. Sounds like a lot. So did the US FCC and the US television industry. But finally, in 1987, the FCC realized where things were going and with the betterment of the American people in mind, started talks with NBK ushering in the age of HDTV. The FCC then gave a date, December 31st, 2006. Today, in 2020 the conversion is complete and there is only HDTV signal protocol available to consumers.
The first HDTVs were dumb TVs. That is, they would just display the contents delivered to them straight from Cox or whoever the supplier was. A need was there to interface with a new type of business, the video streaming companies. So, manufacturers of TVs started placing computer chips in the HDTVs and apps can be downloaded allowing streamers like Netflix to provide endless channels and easy access to programming for the customer.
Now with HDTV, came quick and significant data streaming speeds and with these speeds, websites such as Netflix streaming movies and television products started took over as the media preferred by the entertainment customers. Data streaming customers now have an integrated platform of Television programming, News, Sports, Documentaries, and movies sent to their homes with a seemingly endless smorgasbord of entertainment to choose from.
Just a credit card put into your phone app and you have your choice of thousands of movies and TV s) to you no matter if you are sitting at home watching your High Definition TV or to your mobile phone while you are waiting for your significant other in the parking lot of Kroger. And the best part ever, it gets cheaper and cheaper as the technology gets better and better. Has anyone considered the cost savings of not having to spend gas money hows to watch? And if you are a YouTube watcher and can sit through the advertisements without buying anything, it is for free.
But in the good old days, I did not have to deal with online movies. I just slipped a DVD into my DVD player and it was good to go. Could pause the movie anytime I want to go take the clothes out of the washer and put them in the dryer. Looks like we took a step back since I cannot use the DVD in High-Definition format.
Not exactly true. The ushering in of HDTV also prompted the innovation for a DVD type of removable media called Blue-ray. A Blue-ray disk is capable of storing several hours of HDTV media or high definition movies.
There is a huge array of steaming internet suppliers in the commercial world. They supply wide-ranging entertainment venues from full-length Studio Films, Independent films, Short Films, Documentaries, Network TV shows, Classics, and Sports, News, and Weather. Even AT&T is entering this booming industry with Streaming Video packages integrated with its broadband connection. Reported by www.marketwatch.com In their article titled “Video Streaming Market Global Industry Trends, Share, Size and Forecast Report by 2016” August 04, 2020 (AmericanNewsHour) A detail report was developed and published on the Video Streaming market by Kenneth Research. The report also included downsides affecting the economic growth of the Video Streaming industry from 2019 to 2016. The report emphasizes that innovations in technology, such as the application of AI (artificial intelligence) and advancements in Block Technology will enhance the content quality of the streams. Also, cloud-based technology to deliver the streams will cause a larger market growth. The report details that one of the major influencers of the Video Streaming markets is social media platforms.
Wow! What an overwhelming amount of change in the last 30 years and it does not seem to be linear and it does not seem to be not complicated. Is there more? Yes, there is one more very significant change. The ever-increasing speed of the mobile networks and the ever-increasing upgrades of cell phones to handle higher-speed networks.
Now, through YouTube, you can get an endless amount of entertainment all for free if you consider the cost of your cell phone is necessary for texting and calling and social media. Not a bad deal.
So, no matter if you are sitting at home watching your High Definition TV or if you are on your cell while you are waiting for your significant other in the parking lot of Kroger, you are an entertainment customer and you are looking at a future that only your imagination can limit the next realm of where you will go and what you will experience once you get there. And the best part ever, it gets cheaper and cheaper as the technology gets better and better. Has anyone considered the cost savings of not having to spend gas money running down to BlockBuster or Red Box to get your video? Just a credit card put into your phone app and you have your choice of thousands of movies and TV shows to watch. And if you are a YouTube watcher and can sit through the advertisements without buying anything, it is for free.