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Old February 23rd, 2006, 11:18 AM   #1
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The changing face of wildlife filming

Hello all,

In the UK we are now seeing an unprecedented rise in the number of people acquiring broadband of 2mb or more. Is this going to influence either the way we shoot, or what we shoot. Is there going to be a move towards smaller discrete audiences for specialist material, or is our main market going to remain the networks.

Rod Compton
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 04:21 PM   #2
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Hi Rodney,
Just take a short ride around the Internet and you'll see evidence of this transition in viewing trends. My own experience deals with a particular internet "Channel" specialising in Ocean themed materials. The owner of the channel points out that say for example if you are a sports fan then with the cable options currently available you can sit and watch sports until your heart is content, 24/7. However if for example you like a specific sport, badminton as a choice, and you wanted to watch just badminton then you may be lucky to find the world championships somewhere on cable and sit and watch that. Then you have to put up with advertisement breaks and potential interuptions from other announced sports etc. So with the Internet, as with the Ocean case, you now see a splintering of themed interests and companies developing on-line channels specifically catering to what could be termed as "passion groups", those who want to watch one specifically themed content through their viewing medium. So lets say someone tunes into the channel I have experience with and wants to watch underwater themed content all day long then they have found the right place. To cater to the underwater documentary lovers within that channel there are then sub divided options for documentaries on sharks, diffwerent fishes, Ocean voyages, fishing etc etc.

With this potential as Internet access becomes faster and cheaper I really feel that the old days of sitting back in your armchair and switching on the box in the corner for your daily dosage of Coronation Street may soon come to an end. Imagine a channel specifically designed to show the current, and older, series of Coronation Street. Ken Barlow never looked so good!

With all of this comes the fear from broadcast concerns that the Internet will eventually kill television viewing as we know it. That may be the future. Who knows.

Just my views anyway,
Mark Thorpe.
Underwater Cameraman,
Western Pacific.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 06:54 AM   #3
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About 50 years ago, there was a rumor running through the industry that this new thing called "television" was going to kill the radio market. And it hasn't. It's just another medium for delivering content. I see the internet the same way. Just another means to view content. What it has done though, along with desktop DV, is opened the door for common folk to produce a quality product and broadcast it to the world. It's levelling the playing field for anyone to get their message out there.

Looking ahead, not long from now, I can see where "multimedia centers" are going to become mainstream; tying internet and television into one. See a commercial, click anywhere on the screen and get instantly transported to the site for ordering. Watch a television show, click on the actor and get all the bio information including other shows he/she's been in and then choose one of those shows to watch in an instant. Content-specific channels are definitely a part of this. Much like the "all music" channels you get on digital satellite, you'll find what you want, when you want, how you want. Powerful future ahead.

The one thing that will keep the TV industry around are the advertisers. Can't get away from that. Also the ability to deliver your content to rural areas. Right now, unfortunately, dial-up is still out there. I know, we have it albeit it's ISDN. Yeah, that may not mean much to folks who live in high-speed urban jungles, but it's still a hurdle that must be challenged. I don't mean you have to get a signal to remote parts of the world, but you can't get a fast Internet even if you live a few minutes outside of a major city. But, you can still get a good set of rabbit ears and get television, or stick a dish on your roof and get good television.

I think there's always going to be a market for television, much like there is still a market for radio. The Internet and its content will blend right in along with them.

Just my 2 bits....

Edward Slonaker
El Pilon Productions
San Patricio, Texas
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