Reports just in suggest that a couple of manufacturers are about to launch televisions with the capacity to view films immediately built in. At least that's what the confusingly-worded news report I picked up said (unusual for Reuters to confuse us in this way). What it means is that TVs will start to have video on demand software embedded into them.
To which I can only reply, oh great. Ter-riffic. Last month I blogged about 3D TV and how the Murdoch empire wants to deliver it as soon as possible. Meanwhile the recession means end customers are having ordinary high-def TVs pushed at them in vast quantities at low prices.
Pause here and consider the other elements emerging in the TV market. Computers are increasingly becoming TV receivers as well as computers - if you're starting over there's no need to have two devices in the living room, one will suffice nicely. Then there's the annual IPTV show around the globe, in which the Internet and television are coming together and - wait for it - you need the right hardware to make it work.
So there's now another entrant, the TV with on-demand built in. Forgive me if I fail to jump for joy, but I can see 2009 becoming the year when the customer didn't know which way to turn already, and it's only five days in.