Doc notes the Viiv announcement with trepidation, and also says:
I've almost given up anyway. The other night in the hotel we watched Anderson Cooper, CNN's version of Geraldo Rivera (always On the Scene, always Concerned, always Talking With The People Involved), report for 45 minutes on word that nearly all the trapped miners in West Virginia were saved. In the morning we found out that the report was false. Not from the TV, but from a phone call and from bloggers deconstructing the whole mess.
Live TV is dead. Last week I was waiting for my car to be serviced, (which took 2 hours longer than expected because of a recall), so I sat in a room with CNN on for 3 hours, hearing the 'live' announcers link to the same taped stories over and over again, using the same 'spontaneous asides' repeatedly. It made Dinner For One look fresh and new.
I stopped watching Local TV news years ago - their endless teasing to tide you over the adverts "Bubonic plague struck a South Bay town today - after the break, find out which one" is completely useless in a world where we have Technorati and Google News to find us the answer before they've finished the link.
TV people will be the last to notice this, because "here I am, with the nation hanging on my every word" is the dream that brought them into the business in the first place.
By the 70s and 80s we had videotape, so TV could be stored, but it required hugely expensive machines that took work from video engineers to line up to record onto giant reels of two-inch tape. So there was only usually one copy of each program, and lots were wiped and reused. Around the time I got there, the BBC realised that tapes decay - the oxide falls off, and that they had lost 20 years of TV recordings by not having a rolling backup program.
In 1998, I went to work at Apple on QuickTime, and started work on live streaming. This was hard work, but interesting - making a personal TV Transmitter for anyone with a Mac, so they could use the internet for lots of people to watch them at once. Having built this technology, I started looking for uses for it, and was rather bemused to find there weren't any.
The problem was storage again. It was always better to have a locally stored copy of the video than to try to get it over the net in real time. It just didn't use the net efficiently, and the 'buffering' experience really sucked. In fact, what I realised was that live TV was a waste of time too. But now we had enough storage.
People spend lots of money on iPods and TiVo's, whose whole purpose is to turn live streams into files so you can pause and skip them, moving the storage into their houses, and pockets. This personal storage is why Podcasting makes sense.
Downloading is always better than streaming, and Edited better than Live, except in one instance.
That difference is when you have 2-way interaction. When you can speak back to the person at the other end, either via iChat AV or Skype, or just by having a textual back channel to a conference.
That's where Live is needed.