I am often asked for my opinion on the
biggest changes we have seen in the world around us in relation to technology.
One of the areas that people will look back and laugh at in technological
history is in relation to television.

In the mid to late eighties my favourite TV
Show was MacGyver. It had a good mixture of science (which I was studying at
the time) and a hero saving the world on a weekly basis. I would plan other
activities around the time that the show aired so I didn’t miss the weekly
episode. It is the same concept that has applied to television broadcasting since
the nation first saw Bruce Gyngell on TV at 7pm on 16 September 1956. A
television executive made decisions on the best time to broadcast a particular
show and the public could choose to tune in at that time or miss out

Fast forward sixty years and the world of
television is undergoing a revolution that will change the way we consume our
weekly fix of sitting in front of the box. With the availability of huge
amounts of storage space at reasonable prices and the ability to transmit data
at increasingly higher speeds, the world of streaming TV is no longer an option
in the future – it is at the point when many people spend more time in front of
the TV watching a streaming service than watching a broadcast service.

Netflix is often the name many associate with
this but they are just one of many players in this game – some free and some
with a monthly fee. Names such as Stan; Presto; Amazon Video; Crackle; Vudu and
even YouTube are common streaming services. The normal broadcasters are adding their
own versions of what they call catch-up TV with iView; SBS OnDemand; Plus7 and
more. Even Foxtel, in the past just a broadcaster of over one hundred
simultaneous channels, is seeing the writing on the wall by packaging On-Demand
services with their monthly subscription.

An inspection of the numbers just from
Netflix will give you some insight into the impact that streaming is having.
Netflix started in 1998 as a DVD-by-mail service. It began streaming in 2007 –
only nine years ago – and now serves over 190 countries with 81 million paying
subscribers worldwide. With revenue of US$6.8 billion it gives you an idea of the
changing world we live in.

With all that choice, I just need to find the
streaming service that has all seven seasons of MacGyver!

Mathew Dickerson

Scroll to Top