[Perhaps my viewpoint is skewed because channel-delivered TV content
in Canada is horrible; it's almost as bad as American TV. I seem to
think that broadcast TV in the UK more tolerable, although I haven't
really seen it since I left the UK in the mid 90s so perhaps
We've gone digital in the UK (DVB-T) which includes an electronic
program guide. So the average consumer CAN buy a PVR with digital
receivers (yes plural) which they simply plug in, scan for channels, and
use. Pause and rewind live TV, record programs according to the EPG. And
it is all free, i.e. funded by TV commercials just like analog TV was.
Of course, the cable companies, Sky satellite TV and the telephone
company (ADSL provider) are offering some sort of PVR-like box with a
selection of broadcast and pre-recorded content.
Note: I happen to work for said telephone company (BT) but I have
nothing to do with either our DSL or TV offerings.
Cursory consideration of your examples above provide clues as to
which way the scale is tipping; radio has for a long time been a way
to promote record sales, and the video stores here are now half-full
with boxed sets of TV series on DVD.
Here too. Especially at Christmas time. I've noticed the same thing in
Russia where homegrown TV series are in every video shop.
It looks to me like people increasingly want their content
and that there's a growing industry supplying that demand.
And I don't think it depends on culture. People are people all over the
world. Everyone wants to control their own time. Everyone wants
predictability of their outgoings, i.e. trend towards flat rates. So
shifting TV from a flat-fee all-you-can-eat broadcast model to a
pay-per-use network model is a non-starter. It will never be more than a
drop in the bucket.