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Tech writer urges cable TV companies to get a clue

Thu, 25 Apr 2013 15:25:58 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

Tech writer urges cable TV companies to get a clue A top technology writer says cable television companies should get the message that they need to stop bundling channels and start offering a la carte service. Columnist David Pogue of the New York Times is at Illinois State University and says the news that Amazon is developing a TV set top box to stream content is significant.

"The number of people who are getting TV from the internet and canceling their cable service is still very small, just single digit percentages, maybe two million people in the last couple of years. But, it is an accelerating trend."

Pogue says he does not think cable companies will go away, but as with other trends in technology he believes viewership will continue to splinter as set top boxes that offer internet content such as Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon proliferate. Pogue acknowledges that there are no signs cable companies have yet begun to change their thinking about charging people for dozens of channels they do not watch. Pogue also says corporate life cycles in the tech industry progress from risk taking to conservatism. Pogue says Apple is a case in point. When it entered the cell phone sector it was unknown in that arena.

"It had nothing to lose so the Iphone had incredible numbers of fresh ideas. So, with each successive generation as the Iphone became more and more important to Apple, they innovated, I would say, less and less."

Pogue says he is now seeing the same behavior from Samsung. Its new phone he writes is far less innovative because the company does not want to jeopardize success. Pogue speaks at Braden Auditorium this evening during Science and Technology week at ISU.

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