Actually cable providers already have brought TV to the tablet. You only have to watch your favorite station to realize that: every second ad break there are about nine million adverts telling you that you can now get your favorite programmes wherever you want, whenever you want, however you want. That’s right – you can even get them on your phone.
The technology that allows this to happen is driven by the spiraling speeds of internet connectivity – which now powers the provision of TV online, on mobile devices and on your traditional TV set. Modern cable providers offer deals that take all three methods of consumption into account, delivering a signal to your home that can be enjoyed on any mobile device you wish, as well as yon your regular TV screen.
If you want to consume your favorite TV shows on the move, though, you’ll have to subscribe to a different package. Mobile devices come under the remit of the home signal only where that signal exists – so as soon as you get out of range, you have to hop onto a true mobile network, in which the signal is routed through mobile phone masts. This, of course, necessitates a second package and probably won’t ever be segued with the service brought into your home by the cable providers’ cable.
Why not? Because cable providers don’t tend to own mobile phone masts, so they have to rent the airwaves off the companies that do. It is of course possible to get a mobile broadband connection and a home internet connection from the same supplier – but I have yet to see a package that includes all for a single monthly fee.
Devices that enjoy 4G connectivity which the likes of Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile USA and Sprint are now offering, can watch TV with as much flexibility and speed as your TV at home. The 4G connection in so powerful and quick that it effectively turns your mobile device into a tiny version of a home broadband connection – enjoying download speeds of up to 4 times that of the traditional 3G appliance. A 4G connection can technically support download speeds of 1GBps – a whole order of magnitude bigger than the download speeds of budget price plans for home broadband supply.
The way that you watch TV on your tablet PC will evolve as more users turn to 4G; and as the cable providers themselves get used to the cross platform challenges inherent in supplying TV to traditional and portable screens. You’ll be able to store your favorite programmes for easy retrieval and interact both with the programme itself, and with other viewers, using social media technology whose interactivity is made effortless by the speed of your connection. Don’t be surprised if, in future, you can start calling up things on your screen that are being referred to in the show you are watching – so for example if your favourite character in a TV drama watches The Godfather, you’ll probably be able to jump to an onscreen Wiki or IMDB page about the film.
Sci-Fi and fantasy programmes – in fact anything that references lots of other films and shows – will become a smorgasbord of links, letting you explore the themes of the show as you watch. Get ready for the next level of viewing!
Photo Credit: ETC@USC
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