A year full of accomplishments worth being proud about

As we barrel toward the end of the year, it’s time to take a brief breather and look back at a very interesting year, not all of it good for everybody, but undeniably interesting, especially for – lest we forget about them – viewers.

High-def video is now common enough that while there’s still plenty of growing room for HD sets and services, some segments of the industry have moved on to what they hope will be The Next Big Thing: 3-D. I’m skeptical 3-D will be anywhere near as big as HD, but then again, maybe it doesn’t have to be.

2010-BrianSantoFor service providers, over the top remains a huge threat (see the “Broadband 50”), but there are plenty of indications that MVPDs can turn it into an opportunity. People still love and are willing to pay for premium programming, and a significant minority of people (heading toward a majority) want to combo social networking with their TV viewing. If MVPDs can stitch all of that together first, they stand a good chance of keeping their customers.

Some interactive advertising technologies are still being worked on, but several service providers have taken the next step: experimenting with ads. They’re getting exciting results.

The newest gadgets are making the transition from really cool to actually useful, and in some cases truly indispensable. Tablet computers? Tablets are the best thing since food in their own zip-lock packages. And now you can get video on a lot of them.

We don’t have much call to point this out here in CED, but the overall quality of programs on TV is as good as it's ever been. While it’s true that some people turn on their TVs simply to have something moving in front of their faces (and that some programmers still cater to that), there are a lot of great stories to be found on TV, and some brilliant ongoing performances from great actors (sometimes you only get one or the other, but still …).

And one way or another, the readers of CED have made much of that happen. These are tremendous accomplishments, and worth being proud about.