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The Future of TV

Courtesy Casey Johnston, ArsTechnica

Right now, traditional TV and media and the Internet exist in uneasy tension. It’s far from an all-out war, but by no means have the two come to an agreement. The Internet is affecting everything from the services we use to watch conventional TV shows to the new hardware we do it on: laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Both parties in the fight have plenty of money, but one is losing cultural clout while the other only gains. Five to 10 years down the road, how will this juxtaposition of old and new shake out? Can the Internet liberate content to a free-for-all, endless catalog of all the best TV shows, movies, and Web series? Or will the content creators, rightsholders, and providers decide they’ve waited long enough for not enough kickbacks from the supposed digital revolution before they pull back into their proprietary caves and resign customers to a line of channels, preprogramming, and pokey set-top boxes?

In this final installment of our series looking at the history of TV, we examine where all aspects of the video entertainment business may head, where we’d like to see them go, and where we hope they never dare step foot.

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