Satellite Tv for Pc: Disruptive Technology

By: Craig Guest

(Continued from: Satellite TV Seeker Exclusive Reports: Part II: Satellite TV for PC: Buying Satellite TV for PC.)

In this Part of the Series, we are going to examine Disruptive Technology, like it or not. Why? Because someday these technical questions (spelled "crucial lifestyle decisions") will come up on a really important essay test, and you will flunk if you don't get the answers exactly right!

Ignore this crucial lesson in modern technology at your certain economic peril!

A few general definitions, courtesy, are in order:

What is a Satellite? "(Aerospace) An object launched to orbit Earth or another celestial body." More specifically, the type of Satellite we are referencing here, could be appropriately called a Dedicated Earth Entertainment Satellite (DEES).

What is a TV? 1. (Television) "(Noun) broadcasting visual images of stationary or moving objects; 'she is a star of screen and video'; 'Television is a medium because it is neither rare nor well done' - Ernie Kovacs, 2. (Noun) a receiver that displays television images; the British call a TV Set, a Telly."

What is a PC? (Person Computer) "(Noun) a small digital computer based on a microprocessor and designed to be used by one person at a time."

The basis for the following brief analysis of Satellite TV for PC, and Disruptive Technology then, derives from our understanding of:

&bull The above three general definitions, and
&bull Three additional concise definitions, I will offer next, and
&bull Empirical details regarding Satellite TV for PC, A.K.A. PCTV, which I obtained from testing both a Software Solution called Satellite TV for PC Elite Edition 2006 and a Noware (not Software, not Hardware) Solution, called FreeSkyTV.

(See Satellite TV Seeker Exclusive Reports: Part IV: Satellite TV for PC: Product Reviews.)

Hey! This stuff will be on that essay test I mentioned, so pay attention!

What is Disruptive Technology (DT)? A concise definition in three parts:

(Courtesy: )

"Disruptive technology is a term coined by Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen to describe a new technology that unexpectedly displaces an established technology. In his 1997 best-selling book, "The Innovator's Dilemma," Christensen separates new technology into two categories: sustaining and disruptive.

Sustaining technology relies on incremental improvements to an already established technology. Disruptive technology lacks refinement, often has performance problems because it is new, appeals to a limited audience, and may not yet have a proven practical application. (Such was the case with Alexander Graham Bell's "electrical speech machine," which we now call the telephone.)
In his book, Christensen points out that, large corporations are designed to work with sustaining technologies. They excel at knowing their market, staying close to their customers, and having a mechanism in place to develop existing technology. Conversely, they have trouble capitalizing on the potential efficiencies, cost-savings, or new marketing opportunities created by low-margin disruptive technologies. Using real-world examples to illustrate his point, Christensen demonstrates how it is not unusual for a big corporation to dismiss the value of a disruptive technology because it does not reinforce current company goals, only to be blindsided as the technology matures, gains a larger audience and market-share, and threatens the status quo."

[Bold Italics added for emphasis.]

Is Satellite TV for PC Disruptive Technology?

For the sake of our discussion, let's assume it is not for the moment. Judging PCTV only by the first set of criteria in the above concise definition: "... a new technology that unexpectedly displaces an established technology..." it could be argued that there is nothing really new about this technology: Satellite TV for PC is merely a recombining of existing technologies: Satellite TV, The Personal Computer, and The Internet.
Take my word: Nothing currently is, or will actually be displaced by this technology: Not Satellite Technology, TV Technology, not The Personal Computer, and definitely not The Internet.

On the flip side of the discussion, judging PCTV by the second set of criteria in our concise definition, this technology: 1. Lacks refinement, 2. Has performance problems, 3. Appeals to a limited audience, 4. Lacks a proven practical application.
The characteristics above are certainly all true of PCTV. At least, they are true today: 08/15/06. (I'll be returning to this point in Part IV of the Series.)

But before we go further, let's examine the unexpected part of the above concise definition, required for DT to exist, by taking a quick overview of this scenario from the Corporate Perspective: What of Bill, Rupert and Charlie?

"... Christensen demonstrates how it is not unusual for a big corporation to dismiss the value of a disruptive technology because it does not reinforce current company goals, only to be blindsided as the technology matures, gains a larger audience and market-share, and threatens the status quo."

And what might be the ultimate implications for the above big-three players, (MSN, DirecTV and DISH Network) Celebrities in the Pay-for-TV-In-Crowd, for being too big to be anything but blind: A certain death-nell.

Q: Why would anyone (a typical Consumer for example) who could get all the entertainment, news, weather and sports, they could possibly ever desire, ever voluntarily pay for the same thing they could get Off-The-Air (OTA) or Online, free for nothing?

A1: The Typical American Consumer Profile (As perceived by the Mega Corporation):
Ignorance: Perhaps they, the great unwashed, have simply never heard of PCTV.
Stubborn-ness: Perhaps they can't, or won't buy a PC, en masse.
Laziness: Perhaps they just can't be bothered to investigate their options.

A2: The Typical American Corporate Profile (As perceived by the Common Man):
Control: Because of their behemoth size and capital resources, they, (MSN, DirecTV, and DISH Network) individually or as allies, could easily swallow this infant Disruptive Technology in a single, merging mouth-full.
Complacence: Perhaps due to their unrivalled position in the World Marketplace, they couldn't care less.
Greed: Or they could simply find out what makes the new, contentious PCTV technology go, and copy it! (Much more likely, and a whole lot cheaper.)
(I'll also return to this point in Part IV of the Series.)

Hey! Wake up! Are you still with us? I'm just getting to the good part!

In any case, it's doubtful if any of the big three are totally unaware of this 'new' PCTV technology. This being the case, it's also highly unlikely that the bigs will knowingly, benignly let loose of the gigantic empires, (or any critical fraction thereof) they have spent most of their adult lives building!

So, the final criterion, by the third concise definition, and most decisive of all considerations in this analysis, may have everything to do with industry leaders, and the status remaining quo.

Notwithstanding the above, for a technology to be truly disruptive, it must eventually overtake and supplant the existing technology utterly, or very nearly do so.

Let's take the following example.

A very brief history of TV

TV is an invention of the mid-20th Century. Although many vital technological elements arrived to set the scene, some time earlier, TV as we know it, began officially in England, one day in 1936.
Television (a Disruptive Technology) hit the American Scene in the late 1940's, with such a tremendous impact that it nearly killed Wireless Radio, the reigning king.

Historical Bench Mark: At this point, there were no Satellites, and no Computers, and even the concept of the Internet as we know it, didn't surface until the late 60s!

The cool bit about this new American TV technology in the 1950s was, that apart from the original cost of Equipment: The TV Set, The Rabbit Ears or The Roof Antenna, and of course The Electricity The TV consumed; the programming, such as it was then, was 'free': i.e., no per hour, or per month charge.
For many who actually still listen to American AM and FM Radio and get their TV exclusively OTA, the free nature of this ability to access these services, without apparent cost, is akin to a Constitutional Right!

Cable TV
The next technological wave nearly swept the previous (free, if Antenna-dependent) TV technology away completely.
Cable TV, (a Disruptive Technology) the first Pay or Subscription TV Service, actually got its start in America in the late 40s. With its tens and eventually hundreds of relatively high-quality programs, and programming variety, it practically put an end to The Free OTA TV World, at least so far as the American Consumer was concerned.

Historical Bench Mark: At this time (late 50s) there were probably many Military Satellites capable of receiving and transmitting radio signals, but no operational Commercial Satellites, (DEES) and no Personal Computers, as we know them. The PC didn't arrive until the 80s!

Satellite TV
Although Satellite TV (a Disruptive Technology) lagged behind Cable TV by a nearly decade, it rapidly closed the gap as a viable way for the typical American Consumer to get first-class quality, variety TV, wherever they lived.
Again, this new technology seriously challenged the existent entertainment king, Cable TV. (Very many small CATV businesses went out of business as a direct result of the advent of Satellite TV.)

Historical Bench Mark: By the early 60s (TelStar 1962) we were using Commercial Satellites to broadcast all sorts of Radio and TV signals, which could be gathered and decoded by receivers located at almost every point in the Continental USA.

And that, so far as Disruptive Technology in the TV industry is concerned, brings us to the court of the current and reigning entertainment king: Satellite TV. (Cable TV relies on the Satellite signals it packages and redistributes to Consumers via coaxial and/or optical fiber cable.)

Convergent Technology (CT)

Though this precise term is not in any of my Dictionaries or my Wikipedia today, considering the circumstances surrounding the above succession of Disruptive Technologies (Radio, TV, Cable TV, and Satellite TV) as exemplars for "displacement," I believe Convergent Technology better describes what PCTV actually is, and what it is also in store for us in the future.

So, let's assume that The TV and The PC have at last merged into one device which has multiple, powerful capabilities, many of which are now generally under-utilized!

Let's further assume that the previous technologies: Satellite and Internet, are not swept away by the new technology (they won't be) but that the foursome, all get married and begin living happily together as CT partners for all the millennia: Will this then be the one, and true Satellite TV for PC, and the new, soon-to-be crowned, king of entertainment?

It's too early for me to call!

Why it matters at all

In a very real way, this issue of DT or CT, is essentially a battle for your wallet. Whether Satellite TV for PC turns out to be Disruptive Technology, or Convergent Technology, may not seem to be an important issue to you perhaps, right now.
But it can mean thousands of dollars, either saved or spent, in acquiring the programming that, you as a Typical American Consumer, will no doubt want to partake of, in the course of your TV-Watching Career.

So, this will be the subject of the essay test I mentioned earlier. Since lots of your money could potentially be riding on your answer, best take the mock exam right now!

Q: If you were offered the choice right now, would you prefer to: 1. Pay less than $50, one time for access to all the entertainment, news, weather and sports, you could possibly ever desire? Or, would you rather: 2. Continue to pay $50, or more monthly, to your Cable TV Provider or your Satellite TV Provider, for the rest of your TV-Watching Career?

You will have all the time you want to formulate your answer. (You can even change your mind later!)

So, might it be Satellite TV for PC for you today? Then you must read the final Installments in the Series: Satellite TV Seeker Exclusive Reports: Part IV: Satellite TV for PC: Product Reviews.

Missed the previous episode(s) Part I, or II? Visit:
Click: Article Page.

Best Regards,

Craig Guest
CEO, Satellite TV Seeker

Fair Use Policy: This Article may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced in total, provided that the following resource is cited:
(See Resource Box.)


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