“It’s not your parents’ TV anymore” is a gross understatement regarding today’s options for viewing entertainment. Consumer choices range from high-cost cable to free online video resources. As epic battles heat up over which service will be king of the TV playground, the government continues to act as referee over content, delivery and re-transmission rights. With multiple services asking consumers to play (or rather watch), the question becomes – who will win? And what types of techs will be needed to install/support these services?
Move Over Cable – There’s a New Dish in Town
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’Global Entertainment and Media Outlook report released last month (June 3 release date), DirecTV is predicted to be the largest pay-TV operator in 2016. Consumers are cutting the cable cord as Satellite TV services provide higher viewing quality and mobility without commercials.
As PwC forecasts that Satellite TV companies could gain anywhere from 1.8million to 36.2 million customers by the end of 2018, skilled satellite installers will be in high demand to help homes and businesses make the switch.
Streaming Goes to Washington
Satellite may be taking a big chunk of cable’s customers, but the biggest paid-cable cord cutters are the low-cost online video services that budgeters everywhere have come to know and love. While consumers are enjoying their 24-hour access to House of Cards for roughly $9/month on Netflix, they are not loving the mid-stream freezes and finger-pointing error messages from Netflix and/or the ISPs. Due to consumers crying mercy over the noisy battles between Netflix and Verizon or Comcast, the FCC began its investigation in early June. Chairman Tom Wheeler clarified the FCC’s involvement by stating, “What we are doing right now is collecting information, not regulating. We are looking under the hood. Consumers want transparency. They want answers. And so do I.”
The Supreme Court laid down the playground rules with its finding of Aereo’s business model as a violation of copyright law. In its ruling, the Supreme Court narrowed its decision to exclude cloud computing providers from the definition of “public performance” under copyright law, which is a huge win for the cloud computing community. TechAmerica’s Executive Vice President Elizabeth Hyman applauds the Supreme Court’s decision, stating, “A broader decision expanding the definition of ‘public performance’ under the Copyright Act to include accessing copyrighted material through a cloud computing service could have proved disastrous for the industry.”
With paid cable TV’s predicted demise, streaming services and satellite TV companies are named kings of the TV playground. And the techs who install and service their technologies aren’t far behind. With increasing demand for skilled satellite and cable technicians, how do you keep your skills relevant and differentiate yourself from the competition? One way is staying abreast of emerging technology trends and broadening your technical skills. Trade journals, magazines, manufacturers’ journals and associations are good sources. A two-for-one way of achieving relevancy and differentiation is through certification. Check out Field Nation’s partners SBCA and The Fiber School as options as you explore which certifications best fit your needs.
As new technologies continue to emerge faster than a rocket-propelled merry-go-ground, future battles will be fought, new kings will be crowned and new skills will be needed. What is your plan to stay in demand?