The ability of electronics to enrich our lives and enhance our quality of life just keeps increasing. Watching older movies and TV shows, even ones made only twenty years ago, can provide perspective on how quickly things have changed. Back then you didn’t see mobile phones or laptop computers. If someone was listening to music while jogging it was probably on a portable cassette deck like a walk man, or if they were really high tech- a compact disk player, rather than an MP3 player. Cameras are also much more convenient than they used to be. Where film and waiting to develop pictures used to be the standard, now its all digital and you can even edit pictures to make them look better.
The same thing has happened to portable entertainment. It used to be that you could get portable over the air televisions, but most people didn’t bother with them because they got poor reception and were still somewhat bulky. Now we have portable video devices which are basically color LCD screens placed on MP3 players with bigger hard drives. Just like the music for MP3 players (which these devices generally function as too) the video is typically downloaded from the Internet to a computer and then downloaded from the computer to the portable video device. This process has a number of headaches associated it that include finding the desired video on the Internet on an on line store and then downloading it for a small fee.
Now there’s a portable video device on the market that bypasses that frustration by downloading video from digital video recorders or even recording it directly from other sources of video. This device is called the PocketDish and it’s marketed by the satellite TV provider Dish Network. If a satellite TV provider seems like an unlikely source for a portable video device, consider the advantages of Dish Network offering a portable video device that can download video from its digital video recorders. First, and most obviously there are the profits to be made from selling the actual PocketDishes to people who already have Dish Network subscriptions. But there’s also the possibility that if these people are finding more time to watch TV by using a portable device, they might decide to upgrade to a larger programming package which will increase Dish Network’s ongoing revenue. Then there’s the possibility that someone will be shopping around for a television service provider and a portable video device at the same time. When such a person learns about the PocketDish, that might be just enough of an incentive to get a Dish Network subscription instead of going with another company. That would definitely increase Dish Network’s revenues far more in the long term than just selling a few electronic devices.
There are numerous benefits to consumers as well. All of the video downloaded from Dish Network digital video players is free- actually it’s already been paid for in the form of the subscription. It also allows Dish Network subscribers to easily find the programming that they want to download because everything that comes with a Dish Network subscription is available for download. The only exception to this is HDTV programming, but we can anticipate that to change with future models.
In all the PocketDish represents another electronic leap.