There are many new standards and television that are about to happen. Most cable systems are preparing to move their broadcast to streaming solutions and over the air antenna base television we’ll see new standards in IP distribution in the new ATSC 3.0 standard.
So what does this mean for most of us? It may mean that the new televisions we have just purchased to be compatible with digital technology will need to be replaced however backwards compatibility may be possible through new adapters. These new standards should bring more solutions for the homeowner however do not expect a lower price.
Cable companies have already started testing ip-based streaming boxes that will replace your standard set top box that works on standard TV signals that are encrypted. This new technology is supposed to allow customers to view television on more devices however it also means that you can no longer recorde your favorite television show or movie and save it for your own use. Cable providers will give you the ability to view previous broadcast from their cloud system which will provide the same recordings for all customers meaning the cable company will record one copy of all broadcasts and then distributed that to all customers that request it. Instead of actually recording a broadcast you will be simply setting up cues to retrieve content from the cable providers server farm.
New over the air broadcast standards mean that digital signals which are now embedded in analog signals will now be converted to ip-based packet technology just like the Internet. This means that new digital content can be provided within your television signal. This can be as easy as guide information for future broadcast or it may include any variety of digital media. Unfortunately unlike the Internet when packets of information are dropped due to a bad connection your television will not be able to requested packets be delivered again.
How should you prepare for new television standards?
At this time we still have the ability to record content from cable television so it is in your best interest to do so and save it for archive.
Although these new technologies will provide better and more content it will come with a cost. We are already seeing data caps being introduced by cable providers across the country. This means if you must depend on a third party for your content your download quota can be used up very quickly. I have already heard friends say that they have received notice that they have surpassed their data cap. What this means is they will need to pay extra for more transfer even though they have a very high speed data connection. With HD and 4k standards requiring more data then your caps will be exceeded quicker.
In addition computer software manufacturers such as Microsoft have now deprecated their support of DVDs and Media Center software that can record television signal over the air or from cable television providers.
It is my suggestion if you have the opportunity you should take this time to create an archive of local recorded television shows and movies. It is legal to record television signal from antenna or cable television sources for your personal use you may not share this archive with others but you can save it just like you would record television with a VCR or DVR.
You should record entire series of television shows that are now in reruns. These shows will never change however they are entertaining and worth saving.
If you are considering canceling your cable contract and moving to antenna based television to save money I suggest that you concentrate on recording television shows and movies that are not normally broadcast over the air.
In the future if you are a cable cutter now you may want to return to cable television broadcasts however with an archive of content and higher quality over the air television you may not need to.