2012: The Year in Signals

Back in 2012, this blog had just relaunched. I didn’t know exactly what kind of content was going to really work. So all year I worked to bring tutorials, support articles, and occasional laughter to my audience. It wasn’t a very big audience back then but you have to start somewhere. The blog had been largely ignored for about two years and people moved on.

In December I had the idea to recap the year, something I’ve done at the end of every year. I called the first one, “The Year in Signals.” You can check it out if you want, I’ll wait.

Something that’s stayed with us: sports fees

The first ever regional sports fee was levied by DIRECTV in 2012, when the company agreed to pick up “The Lakers Channel” (TWC SportsNet, as it was known then.) Although many folks in Southern California didn’t care, every DIRECTV subscriber paid $3 a month to have the channel.

That’s become common now, sadly.

Something that’s left: MDTV

I was pretty bullish on mobile digital television back in 2012, and now I have to eat crow and admit that I was wrong. I thought people would want to carry around a portable TV and watch it in the car or RV. Turns out they didn’t. Turns out that data speeds got faster, cell phone plans got cheaper, and everyone wanted to use their phones. In 2013 there were plans for phones and tablets with MDTV hardware built in, but they never happened.

MDTV died sometime in late 2013 and no one noticed.

How the world’s changed

I guess, if you look back at that article, you realize that what’s changed is streaming. Smartphones were still pretty new in 2012, cell data speeds were really poor, and even at home you were lucky if you got 10Mbps. Today speeds are so fast it almost isn’t an issue and there are plenty of things to stream in HD and 4K.

I only wonder if this year’s “year in review” articles will look so horsey in just six years.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.