I have ‘worked in the TV industry’ for the last 25 years, I understand how the industry works and why it exists, how it is financed and who makes the most money out of it (not the people who appear on the screen)
When I got back to my hotel room last night the telly started working as I walked into the room. I hadn’t touched a button, merely slid my key card into the little slidey thing by the door and kerchung. MTV, ‘worlds sexiest music videos’ appeared in glorious colour. Lovely.
I started channel hopping, something people have been doing for the last 40 years or so. Before that you had to stand up and turn a clunky knob on the telly to change channels. In fact when I was a kid you didn’t even do that, we had a nine inch Bakelite telly that only got the BBC.
‘We’re not having that awful commercial rubbish in this house.’ Said my mum.
The actual screen of the telly in the hotel, the machine itself is amazing, flat screen, incredible definition, top notch sound. That was all good but I was immediately aware of some numpty in some obscure office in London who had pre-decided what I could watch. A scheduler, a person who organises the schedule, a person who’s job it is to tell you what you can see and when.
Suddenly the technology I was using seemed archaic and limited, clunky and crude and above all, out-dated. The menu system is nothing short of tragic, finding out what you can watch is next to impossible, searching for a specific thing you want to watch? Forget it.
It’s crap, it’s a broken model, it doesn’t work and my experience in the hotel room reminded me why I don’t have Sky and why I don’t watch much broadcast telly any more.
Breaking Bad and House of Cards on Netflix is how I want my telly. It’s all available, all the time, I decide my own schedule, I watch it when it fits in with my time table, I’m no longer prepared to operate my life around the vague whim of some self important numpty in NoHo.
I’ll watch the news at a scheduled time and that’s about it. I know some people like to watch men running around with balls on a nice grass lawn and that’s fine too. But for the rest of it, I only have one thing to suggest. ‘Schedulers, sling yer hook.’