At the turn of the century, a company called Napster fired the first shot of the media revolution by making songs available online. The revolution has continued – in fact, it has accelerated as broadband has made the internet a video distribution channel and incredible progress in digital technologies has put amazing new tools into the hands of creative people.
In the flood of change, however, it is easy to forget how much we depend on tried-and-true infrastructure. Satellite still delivers most TV programming, even if all the TV business wants to talk about is streaming. Complex facilities are still at the heart of program origination, and optical fiber still stitches together the locations where news, sports and pre-recorded content are made. Inside the revolution is an evolving mix of old and new, established and experimental, and the challenge of today is to make it all work together to serve the changing tastes of the viewing audience.