The future of TV

Ever wonder about TV in Dubai? No, we never did either. But here’s a Dubai take on what’s happening in our favorite medium. (Notice how smartened up the language and ideas are, instead of the all-too-familiar U.S. “dumbed down.” Food for thought here, no?)

crystal-ballFar from writing an epitaph for what was once derisively known as the ‘idiot box,’ television is increasingly gaining prominence and attracting the attention of a lot of big players globally. 

Companies such as Google, Apple, Yahoo, Amazon, and of course, YouTube are spending billions of dollars in buying spunky new start-ups that promise to make television viewing even more exciting.

The traditional concept of ‘television viewing’ is undergoing a dramatic change as hundreds of thousands of youngsters are abandoning that familiar routine of sitting in front of a set and watching their favourite programmes, opting instead to watch news, films, serials and videos on a variety of devices including handsets, tablets and phablets and even when they are on the move and through a mind-boggling range of ‘channels.’

Innovation is the buzz word in television today and entertainment, hardware and software biggies are betting big on the future of the ‘tube.’ Online retailer Amazon has just launched Fire TV, its video streaming set-top box, for $99. While the price matches that of Apple TV, many are predicting that Fire TV will be a game-changer.

The online retailer is expected to embed e-commerce options into its new gizmo, enabling viewers to order products and services instantaneously when they are watching a TV show. Fire TV will allow viewers to access Amazon’s library comprising more than 200,000 films and TV serials. It will also host media players from YouTube, Netflix, Vimeo and Hulu.

Apple TV, Roku and Google Chromecast (which at $35 also comes with a Chrome browser) dominate the market for set-top boxes and streaming sticks, but Fire TV is all set to set the business ablaze with its features.

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