Saturday, July 29, 2006

Broadcasting From Home

Wave a magnet over a coil of insulated wire and you create electricity in the wire. Use a battery and a second coil of wire to generate the magnetic pulse and you can send signals back and forth.

That's how the broadcast age began.

It didn't take long for people to realize that for one transmitter there can be many receivers. A transmitter can broadcast. At the same time, one receiver could tune in several different transmitters. A receiver can shop around.

Broadcasters competed for the public ear. Commercials brought in money, money hired quality performers, and quality brought in listeners. The hottest radio shows went national over network telephone wires to local radio stations for broadcasting.

A single voice could speak to all.

A star system was born. Communication was from one to many. For ordinary humans to speak to a nation was out of the question. But over the years, ordinary man as well has slowly become able to do this.

Ham radio put a transmitter on the desk. A lonely farmboy could talk in voice or Morse to people all over the world. He could only officially be in contact with one other person at a time - like the telephones of the time, the communication was one-to-one. But others could hear him.

Telephone calls became many-to-many. Chat rooms on the web are many to many. Any amateur preacher looking for a following, any would-be musical hero, now can put their own one-to-many video together and share it on YouTube. Cellphone cameras capture the news. It's a world of any-to-many.

We all can see the things we each can see.

2 Comments:

Blogger Dan McIntyre said...

This morning, CNN announced a new service - I-Vision. This lets people all over the world upload video for possible broadcasting.

Everyone can be a reporter now.

7:29 AM, August 12, 2006  
Blogger Dan McIntyre said...

In the last couple of weeks, Stephen Colbert of the TV show, "The Colbert Report", recorded some video of himself fighting invisible monsters in front of a green screen and made it available for download.

This allowed hobbyists with good video software to construct their own versions of Colbert fighting the universe, including a Star Wars version. Wonderful stuff.

The video makers then uploaded it to YouTube.com. Colbert's crew downloaded it and showed it on a following Colbert Report.

The video made a complete loop, from television land to home computer land and back to television land.

It was also a loop from a star system hero out to the ordinary man and back.

Maybe the worlds are not so far apart.

10:32 AM, September 03, 2006  

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