Here's hoping you had a very happy holiday season, wherever in the world you may be.
I had a wonderful holiday excursion down near the equator, and have spent the past several days attempting to psychologically prepare myself for the start to 2009.
Before I left for my trip to Panama, on a lark, I downloaded the entire first season of "The Wire" to my Acer netbook, just in case I had an opportunity to check it out during my downtime.
As it turned out, that was a very wise move, as my hotel on Isla Contadora had no TV and no radio (although to be fair, they did have a faint wi-fi signal).
Season one episodes of "The Wire" became my bedtime entertainment during my time off, and I made it through the last of season one's 13 episodes about the time I returned back to Austin.
For the record, I was hooked.
So, I set about trying to decide how I wanted to view the second season.
Blockbuster rental? Nah, I'd have to leave the house to go get the DVDs, and then I'd have to return those DVDs. Too much work, bad for my carbon footprint.
HBO on Demand? Nah, they were no longer replaying it on HBO on Demand.
So I went ahead and bought the second season via iTunes, but this time I downloaded them to my AppleTV so I could watch on the big screen and with the big speakers.
I made it through season 2 in a few days (I told you I was hooked!)
At $26 a season, though, and with three seasons to go, I figured there had to be a better way.
I'm not really interested in owning "The Wire." I just want to watch it.
I want to lease, not buy.
So I went back by Netflix, where I'd been a member early on.
For about $9.00 a month, I could rent the DVDs for all seasons of "The Wire," but I couldn't watch it "live" using their on demand service. Huh??@@!#!@
Man, can't a guy get a break?
I just want to watch the frickin' "Wire" on demand and without breaking my bank!
I went ahead and signed up for Netflix, figuring there was plenty of other stuff I could watch on the MacBook via the on demand streaming service, and primitive though it may be, at least with Netflix the DVDs can be picked up and returned via snail mail (read: my mailbox).
So after all this, I read this morning the story about how Netflix's streaming capability is going to start being built into LG plasma and LCD HDTVs.
It's a sign from the TV gods.
It means, at least once, somewhere, somehow, somebody had an "Aha!" moment when they came to the realization that we mere mortals prefer the "lean back" experience when it comes to watching filmed content, and that that's preferable to watching it leaning forward on our PCs.
I lean forward all day long working on my computer. I'm leaning forward now writing this blog post. I don't want to lean forward when I'm ready to lean back.
So perhaps, soon, there will be others who also get a clue and start linking the umbilical tether of the Internets with the vast real estate of these new HD TV sets, and only then we can all get on with our non-linear, time shifted, commercial free content viewing experience.
But I ain't holdin' my breath...and I sure as heck ain't letting go of my mouse.
At least not yet.