Will a television become redundant in the future?
A lot of the reporters in Redbrick TV use online facilities to review their stories. Usually it comes from the free services like the BBC iPlayer or ITV Player, which give us the opportunity to have reruns on request (unlike Dave, who give us reruns by design).
There are others who do not have a television at all and solely rely on internet services for their viewing. These people receive letters from TV Licensing, which are designed to intimidate and scare people into buying licenses. But there are websites that provide you with any TV show you want within three clicks of a mouse.
The new role that the internet is playing is worrying; a lot of people are using filesharing websites and hosting websites to watch TV (usually illegally) whenever they want. Recently a British student, Richard O'Dwyer, owner of TV Shack, a hosting website that would directly link you to whatever you wanted to watch on a different website, was arrested and will be extradited to the USA, pending appeal, for conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and criminal infringement of copyright. Other such filesharing websites are also falling under scrutiny, the most publicised is Megaupload, which was taken down a few weeks ago.
There are plenty of arguments over the ethics of these practices but the epidemic of internet television continues. TV online is quickly becoming an acceptable alternative to watching TV with friends, or family. So much so that Downton Abbey was boosted to number one spot in viewers on Christmas Day, but only after the internet watches were taken into account.
There was talk of the government introducing a payment system for BBC iPlayer back in 2009, and recently they tried to revise this idea comparable to an online TV license in the future. It would be a pay per view system like America for sports events, or cable TV. People won't be happy with this, but in a system where license holders pay for iPlayer, is it really fair if non-license holders use it too? You can watch Sky Sports online with your Sky details, so this student imagines it won't be far from reality.
Written by Eliot Rhodes