TV to the Left of Me, TV to the Right

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One of the many amendments stuck in or slipped into or tacked on the Senate Commerce Committee bill–however you like to look at it–was one requiring the FCC to study a commercial radio service targeted at school buses.

The legislators on the committee seemed in general, high-dudgeon, agreement that it was a bad thing, pointing out that the same company had tried to put ads on textbooks before the plan was publicized.

It got me to thinking–something has to–about the ubiquity of our media environment and whether there is a point of diminishing returns for all the capital being risked. Alvin Toffler's Future (now present) Shock is upon us in spades, with a lot of investment riding on our insatiable appetites.

TV, for example, which–note to the Congress–has had a captive schoolkid audience for years, is now inescapable.

You can watch TV in your family room and living room and rec room and kitchen and bedroom and bathroom and in your car, in a bar, in the airport, and on the airplane, and on the bus, and on a train–I can watch it here and there. I can watch it anywhere (sorry, Dr. Seuss moment)–and on a home computer or a laptop computer or a handheld computer or your cell phone.

You can get it from an analog TV station, digital TV station, digital cable channel, analog cable channel, satellite broadcaster, telephone company, wireless telephone company, Internet content provider, microwave point-to-point service, and who knows what's next.

It's all very exciting, but also a little overwhelming and not just to try to keep up with professionally. I love television and have far more Dick Van Dyke plots in my head than I do theorems or postulates, but I wonder how much of this duplicative delivery even TV-heads like me can support.

We shall see (and probably on some type of screen).

By John Eggerton

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