My NPR adventure: Exploring "on demand attitude" and my own media consumption setup
I didn't really think I had a very complicated TV set up in my home. Until I had to explain it to National Public Radio.
NPR has a series it's been rolling out called What We Watch, taking a look at the unique intersection of media, technology, society and consumer habit. They touched base with me wanting to talk about online video, but when I told them about the setup I have at home to consume media, their plans quickly changed.
The setup: a 46" HDTV with several HDMI inputs; a Blu ray/DVD player which can wirelessly access video services such as Amazon on Demand with a USB input in the front to plug in a hard drive; an Apple TV unit which allows me to display media on my nearby iMac computer, Netflix and other online service such as YouTube on the TV, along with movie rentals and purchases from iTunes; a cable box and digital video recorder which is programmed to capture all the shows I'm tracking, along with accessing a host of video on demand services and hundreds of cable channels.
It's all controlled with a Logitech Universal Remote programmed to automatically switch on and off a succession of devices, depending on whether I'm watching DVDs, Apple TV or the cable box.
And that doesn't include the services I can access on my smartphone, including Netflix and HBO Go, a service made available to HBO subscribers to take their programming on the road (I watched the latest episode of HBO's Boardwalk Empire, for example, while sitting in the terminal at JFK Airport in New York waiting for my flight back home).
It's fair to say that video consumers have never had more access to so many different pieces of programming than they have now. And they have never had a greater ability to carry it with them. Which, of course, only makes people want to stretch that dynamic even more.
Years ago, I called it "on demand attitude" in a story for the then-St. Petersburg Times. It's that impatience that comes from a media consuming public that increasingly has never known the limitations of a five or six channel TV universe, or a world where you didn't have a TV set, photography studio, film camera, email connection and telephone in your back pocket.
Here's the NPR piece which resulted, a friendly conversation about what's happening now, and what's coming next.