Ubiquitous Television and AngelTrax

You may use this content (better still, argue with me!), but please cite my ideas as (c) 2005, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein.

Those of us who teach new media wonder sometimes if our colleagues in more traditional media studies appreciate the difficulty inherent in being a student of new media (I'm including myself in that student category). When I pay a visit to the home theater/etc. store I sometimes find myself surprised at something new. (Although I was an early TiVo adopter and then proponent, I walked right past their displays because I thought the Shrek-like logo implied it was a gimmicky product if not one intended for children; it even reminded me of the dying WebTV displays.)

Yesterday I paid a long overdue visit to my favorite store and got into a conversation with a computer salesperson (I'm still using a boat anchor...uh, I mean a 2000 Dell Inspiron "laptop" with some missing keys; remember, my parents grew up as members of the Greatest Generation and also survived the depression, so I was taught to be frugal!). I noticed a few of the laptops had a rather large, transparent advertisement for a service that allowed you to take your existing home TV service and "broadcast" it wirelessly to your laptop. You can, I was told, not only change channels from your house but from any location where you are on the Internet. Are you kidding me? Policy wags, think how this can affect arguments against allowing Internet distribution of video programming by individuals. I decided long ago when portable TV sets found their way onto the beach that TV will finally have caught up to radio in ubiquity.

I haven't tried the product from a company called Interactive Video Solutions (how about that!) and the brand name for its consumer products is AngelTrax. Yes, I'm aware others are working on similar products. But the home video store had an in-store demo which sent the television signal from about 125 feet away to the laptop we were looking at. It was not broadcast video (don't worry, it will be) but it was watchable. As for putting the signal on the Internet so I could watch it literally anywhere I can get a connection, well the innate researcher in me will have me doing more reading.


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