I was around for the conversion to color, saw the "Over the air broadcast Pay TV" business model try and fail in the market ("ONTV" anyone?), and witnessed the rollout of cable tv, and enjoyed their monopolization attempts.
Now, (if I were to subscribe) I can have access to over one hundred channels on Cable, and hundred more on satellite, 20 or so channels over the new "improved" digital HDTV broadcast spectrum and yet
At least this was the case until I got a High Definition LCD TV, and connected my gaming computer to it. Now I find that although we watch almost zero television "programming" on it, the device itself gets much more usage than the tube TV it replaced.
Once you attach a computer to your big screen LCD and watch a movie or play a game, why would you bother to watch any "programming" at all, let alone programming with commercial interruptions?
Movies on demand? Simple! Click a link on TPB or NNTP and have a movie in about an hour (maybe several hrs for 1080p content). Music? Same thing. Games? Same thing. News? Better! I can check the weather, read headlines, watch news clips, and best of all I can even comment on it or rank it!
Why would I pay for cable's Low Res TV programming? Why would I put up with the weak signal, blocky, choppy, unwatchable mess that they have made of broadcast digital TV? Why would I pay for the bother of Game Consoles that overheat, die and when replaced find myself cheated out of using my purchased DRMed downloadable games, or possibly fall victim to some failed BluRay key update?
Is Optical media dead? Not as long as the baby-boom generation keeps buying "wax" disks.
Optical media is as good as dead for many post-boomers. Heck, I dont even own a standalone CD or DVD player! I Rip and store media on disk, and consume it when it's convenient for me .
For me disk based media is far too obsolete to use, (as designed - in disk players) even if the content providers were to give it away. I never buy optical media unless its the only way I can obtain it. Once obtained, the content is transferred to Hard-disk where it can be of some use.
The funny thing is that Im more than willing to pay for all of my media. I pay for all of my games, which I download. The reason I pay is because the publisher add value like game servers, ranking and records, updates, and free stuff like wallpaper and screensavers.
I want to buy music, I want to buy video content but there is no added value for me if I pay, and currently I actually lose value by paying because the only time I am restricted in my usage is when I hit a DRM wall.
No one seems to want my money badly enough to actually work for it.