August 26, 2013

Recently I congratulated locally-owned KOBI on 60 years of service and owner Patsy Smullen on following her dad’s leadership in supporting the local community in numerous ways. So, what’s it like being an owner of a local TV station? Challenging. Everywhere you look, cable, satellite and the internet, aggressive competitors want your viewers.

The latest attack, Google is selling a $35 gadget that plugs into your high-definition TV and streams video from almost any source. Called Chromecast, it looks kind of like a USB memory stick. The device is an effort to compete with Apple and other tech companies that want to bring Internet services (including network TV programming) to your television set.

When plugged into your TV, the gadget connects both to a home wireless router and other devices such as smartphones, tablets or laptop computers. Anyone in range can then use their smartphone or computer as the “remote control” — to select a video of their choice. I predict this will be a game changer, until the much-anticipated Apple TV hits the market.

As for local TV? Go to your local station’s Facebook page and “Like them” … they need all the friends and support they can find.

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