Years ago, before the cable boom, before the rise of social media, before broadband and Apple TV and Netflix and iEverything were at our fingertips, “the future of TV” was the subject of endless Clinton-era gold-rush-fever speculation. We were told exactly what it would look like: One day soon, we’d be able to watch Friends or ER whenever we felt like it, simply by saying to our TV—or better still, our home computer, which would control everything—”Show me the latest episode.” Maximum consumer flexibility, maximum choice, maximum convenience. Tech nirvana.
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