You might think it’s a bit harsh to round off reasons to be nervous to the nearest 2013, but in certain situations, rounding down to 2013 might be a favor. The New Year promises to be filled with innumerable challenges and changes. As the clichéd curse goes, “May you live in interesting times.” I think it’s safe to say we’re doing that, and then some.
Broadcast television was once either live or film, and it has been swept up in transition since singer Bing Crosby’s company began experimenting with recording video on magnetic tape in 1951. Five years later, Ampex perfected Cosby’s concept and began selling 2in quad machines. Color quad machines followed two years after that. It was the beginning of a huge transition to “the magic of videotape.” Videotape has since become a stepping stone, and its magic pales in comparison to the rapid and radical transitions that digital everything continues bringing to consumers and broadcasters.
The demand for digital television technology advancements and enhancements continues to hasten, and innovation and the resulting transition accelerates with time. What doesn't seem to be accelerating quite so fast is the number of people that can figure out how to make money with it. Early quad machines cost as much as 20 new Corvettes. Today's full HD production apps cost about the same as a new Corvette radio option upgrade. The New Year brings many opportunities, some good and others sometimes the best of all not-so-desirable choices. In the year’s first "Transition to Digital" newsletter, let’s review some of the more significant transition issues on the foreseeable 2013 horizon.