4.4 – Is there a place for the movie theatre in the future?

The Rise of TV. Again.

It’s no secret that TV is finally gaining in popularity again, and the only reason is because it’s starting to behave more like a computer. The things your television is capable of are growing. Finally. The time when you had to walk across the room to change to one of 3 channels seems like ancient history, but what actually changed in the decades that followed? The remote control came, more channels appeared and the screen became flat. Besides screen quality, that means nothing major actually changed. In that time though, we all started buying computers and laptops that offer us much more joy and possibilities than the limited channels and programs on TV. And because the computers DID evolve, they stayed more popular than the TV.

But now, at last, TV is gaining popularity again. Why is has taken so long? Beats me. For a long time it was the race to the flattest TV. Great job guys! But the capabilities of the TV stayed the same. Finally, the manufacturers got the bright idea to hook up TV´s to the internet. They’re presenting is as the next revolutionary thing, but let’s be honest, they should’ve done it 8 years ago already..

So, new capabilities means different use of our TV’s. We’re much more in charge of what we want to watch now and that’s the way we like things to me; personalized. We choose what we want to watch, and when we want to watch it. A new tool that helps with this demand is UltraViolet. “The world´s leading entertainment companies, retailers, service providers and electronics manufacturers” collaborated to create UltraViolet. It’s a service that stores your movies and TV shows in the cloud, which you can access with your TV, phone, tablet and computer at any time and with your entire household. This way, you have all of your media at hand at any time.

So what does that mean for movies?

Well, at first not that much. UltraViolet stores the movies and TV shows that already have aired or been released on DVD and BluRay – it’s merely your personal library that you acquired. But to take it from this point to buying current in-theatre movies directly and watching them at home with the comfort of your own home, is just a small step away. We all know that TV’s are capable of showing perfect HD images and even 3D, and everyone who is a little into movies has a decent surround system, so the cinematic experience really is to your home. And why not? What’s better than having the same (or almost the same) experience you have in the movie theatre, but in the comfort of your own living room? Grab a drink whenever you want to, no annoying teenagers talking and texting through a movie, unlimited bathroom breaks and all that while sitting in your favorite chair. Perfect!

Or not? The fact is that this will probably happen in the near future, but does that mean that it’s the end of the movie theatre? I don’t think so. Because there’s something special about going to the movies. It’s exciting, every time. It’s a night out! It’s the place where thousands of guys take their girl on a first date and where a lot of children’s birthday parties are held. People have good memories about going to the movies and that’s something they’ll return for. On top of that, even though the in-house movie going experience is getting closer, it’s still not quite the same and it probably never will be. The sound system in theatres is definitely better and no one has a 6 X 15m screen at their house, unless you´re 50 Cent. There’s a reason that IMAX is still gaining in popularity and that’s because people want what they can’t have at home. As long as that’s not the case, and that will probably never be the case, people will  keep going to the theatres. Thank god for cinema.

– Written by Stefan Volders (Blog post #6)

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