We are continuing our look at XBMC or if your will, X-Box Media Centre. Today we are going to have a look at setting expectations.
Probably the number one question you would have to ask is why would you consider adding this sort of application to your entertainment portfolio?
The answer is simple. First of all, it dramatically expands the volume of content that you can access. If you look at your basic cable services, you can watch a very limited number of movies, most network programming and of course local news and weather. The cost for this runs somewhere around $60 per month. Add on top of that upgrades to the various movie networks, a couple of specialty channels and all of a sudden, your bill jumps to around $100 per month.
Now consider XBMC and what is available. A quick scan through the movie menuing system suggests that there are about 2-hundred thousand movies available. You can access everything from current films running in theaters, to upcoming blue-ray releases, and a massive supply of classic movies. In more realistic terms, you could watch 5 movies per day forever, and never get to today’s current releases.
In terms of traditional network shows and local news, virtually all of the broadcasters have embarked on a program of connecting mobile viewers by posting their shows on their web sites and encouraging people to watch. There are all available on XBMC.
Another program category that is in fairly high demand is specialty channels. Once again, if it’s on a TV system anywhere; it’s probably available through XBMC, and in High Definition.
One program category that abounds on XBMC that is not available on television is that of the independent producer with no network affiliation. This category of shows is quickly mobilizing and starting to deliver high volumes of content, and offering very specialized information.
In fact, look for independent producers to step up and fill the void that the Canadian government has generated by allowing the massive consolidation of ownership in broadcasting which has eliminated local content from massive portions of this country.
And the cost of all this? Just the cost of the internet connection that you use, probably around $60 per month and dropping.
Because the content delivery services traditionally have been granted near monopoly licenses from the government, they have had no need to compete for customers and have long treated both content providers and customers like well, borrowing an expression from Coronel Potter in MASH, treated them like horse puckey. Now that alternate delivery vehicles are available, it’s unlikely that they will wake up and smell the coffee, and will probably end up like Blackberry, not so quietly just fading away.