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Internet Usage Catches Up With Television In US

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the way-better-lolcats dept.

Television 119

Hugh Pickens writes "Joshua Brustein writes that, according to a survey by Forrester Research, the amount of time people spend on the Internet has increased 121 percent over the last five years with Americans now spending as much time using the Internet as they are watching television. And while people younger than 30 years old have spent more time with the Internet than television for several years, Forrester's survey shows that this is the first year that people in older age groups are doing so as well. Forrester's survey also shows a significant increase in the number of people using the Internet to watch streaming video with 33 percent of adults surveyed this year saying they use the Internet to watch video, up from 18 percent in 2007. However the rise of the Internet is not necessarily leading to a drop in television consumption because the Internet, and particularly the mobile Internet, simply creates more opportunities for people to consume media, says analyst Jacqueline Anderson with younger viewers increasingly comfortable with the Internet as the place to watch their television. 'For the younger population, the TV is still important, but where they're getting that content from is changing,' says Anderson. 'For the generations that are coming up, that's where we're going to see the cut.'"

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119 comments

Some people do not even watch TV (4, Interesting)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563540)

I am one of the people that does not even watch TV. With stuff like Hulu and even Netflix, there is no need. You can watch all of your shows online. Sometimes for free like with Hulu, and sometimes for a small fee like Netflix. Even networks themselves have been catching on and playing episodes of their own shows online. That is how I caught the first episode of Walking Dead is because AMC had it streaming on their website. Some of us have no need for a TV outside of video games. I can catch any news I want through websites that are known to have good sources, television shows through streaming services, and even movies through streaming services. Depending on the movie, I will sometimes just catch a deal on a dvd or blu-ray from whatever website is running the deal. Either way, for many of us, there is no reason to even stare at a TV unless a pc is hooked through to it, we are playing a game, or popping a movie in.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563646)

I'm in that category too, I use only Netflix and the broadcaster's websites to watch TV shows these days. We dropped the TV bit from our FIOS and haven't looked back. But the summary is confusing to me. I get the sense that they are saying that "watching TV" on the internet is still counted as "watching TV" with other internet activities (chat, reading, games, etc.) being the part that has seen a significant upswing.

I could be wrong though, that's just how I read the summary. ( and no I did not RTFA! :-)

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563838)

>>>I use only Netflix and the broadcaster's websites to watch TV shows these days

Wow. I haven't gone that extreme yet. 99% of the TV that I watch is "live" over the antenna since it's free of charge and includes a lot of movies I've not seen in decades (or ever). The only stuff I watch online is Cable programming like syfy's Stargate, Ghostfakers, et cetera.

Ya know - this is a prime opportunity for cable companies. I'd be willing to buy just Syfy, or the NBC bundle which includes syfy, but cable is unwilling to do a la carte. Foolish. They could be collecting upto $10 from me, but because they insist upon the $65 "all or nothing" approach, that's what I give them - nothing.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564022)

Agreed on the a la carte programming. Their loss. I said broadcasters above but I should clarify that, similar to you, I mostly hit up cable channel websites like Comedy Central (Daily Show/Colbert), History, NatGeo, Discovery, etc... Can't say I like the parent companies much in a lot of cases but some of the programming on these channels is quite good. My wife on the other hand likes the soaps so for her it's all broadcasting companies online. We get terrible reception over the air and after hooking a computer up to our (crappy, std def, btw) TV my wife preferred the online experience. I gave her a cheap wireless keyboard and created plenty of shortcuts so she even has a "remote control".

The kids have a Wii and a DVD player so for them it's streaming on Netflix or wait for the DVD. But they don't seem to mind, most of what they are interested in is available.

It's all kind of lame without spending more on better equipment but for the amount of TV we watch and the money we pay monthly it's an OK fit.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564582)

What's your zipcode? Just curious why you have lousy TV reception and yet have great internet connectivity.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564724)

I think it has more to do with my equipment then location. I use older, std def TV's, have no external antenna and the digital to analog converter + set top antenna I tried didn't do crap. It's more of an unwillingness to spend on new stuff then anything. I've got 4 kids from 6 to 18 and can't even begin to count all the money I've spent over the years on computers, games, TV's, DVD players, etc. My wife and I decided a while ago that enough was enough so we use only the stuff that we have available around the house with some minor exceptions ( like the cheap wireless keyboard I mentioned).

We were able to get decent reception on our old* TV's when the signal was analog but not anymore...

*I had one TV that I could simply stick a paper clip into the coax port and it would get 4-5 channels

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564252)

When I am home...pretty much every TV in the house is on too. However, I pretty much also have some form of computer in every room of the house, so I'm connected to the internet in every room too.

I only pay for a business connection from my cable company, and I splice off that line to get the analog stations (extended basic), and the unencrypted HD channels. That plus antenna satisfies my 'live' TV needs. Anything else, I can get off Netflix or Usenet.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564668)

Couldn't agree more.

There is plenty I would get on TV if I could pick and choose what I want. Instead they want me to buy some package and pay them 120-200$ a month for the privilege. So I get basic cable that I use basically to watch news and NHL games on every now and again, and use the internet for everything else. I have my TV hooked up to my computer anyway and a remote. As much as I would like my hockey in 1080p, I ain't spending what they want me to for all the stupid package BS.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (2)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564770)

people (network execs) are afraid of finding out that nobody gives a shit about cnn, nbc, abc, etc and just wants sci fi and mtv.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563782)

Another AOL-style post here. When you watch broadcast TV, someone else is controlling the schedule. You are not the customer, you are the product, and you are being delivered to advertisers. I'd rather pay for my entertainment and have it ad-free and on my own schedule. I no longer own a TV, and find that I enjoy watching television programs a lot more when I get to decide when to watch them and can watch them all of the way through without interruption.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34565020)

The externally-imposed schedule is what killed TV for me years ago. When they set the schedule, and you keep track of what they're showing, you feel like you're missing things if you don't stay glued to the TV every day. When you set the schedule, you know that whether you watch it today, a week from now, or whenever you happen to feel like it, it will still be around. You also quickly see that there is thousands of times more material than you could ever watch in a lifetime, and thus accept that you will be missing 99% of everything no matter what you do. So you don't even start the game of trying to watch all these things you must watch. It becomes simply watching when you feel like watching a movie/TV show would be beneficial (I watch after I've been working for 10 hours straight, and need some relaxation, but sometimes don't watch for weeks, if I don't feel worn out).

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 3 years ago | (#34566420)

I never watched TV on the network schedule, even before Tivo. I think my first purchase when I got my first decent job and moved out of my mom's basement was a VCR. I still haven't given up TV completely, but Netflix is looking pretty damn good to me. Even FFing past ads isn't as good as not having them to begin with.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563790)

Same here. I have no real desire to suck down the 'package' that various networks insist on selling me--and even less desire to order a cable or satellite 'package' that contains maybe three channels I'd want to watch and 50 that I wouldn't--6% usability is not a good deal for 200% the price of my data connection.

Add to that the single-use nature of cable and satellite (with the exception of those people with cable internet, but I have DSL at the moment) vs the multi-use functionality of a data connection, and it becomes apparent that buying TV programming is a waste of money and a very poor value.

Sure, I don't get to see TV shows in 'real time'--but I'm never -home- when those shows are on anyway, so it's not like I wouldn't be watching them the next day or on the weekend via Tivo or some other time-shifting tech anyway.

TV's pretty much useless to me, so I don't buy it.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563828)

I am one of the people that does not even watch TV. With stuff like Hulu and even Netflix, there is no need. You can watch all of your shows online.

In other words, you still watch television.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563942)

Depends. Is television the content or the delivery method?

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34564098)

Content.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564752)

Television is the commercials.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34569552)

Television is an appliance... what is shown on it is at the discretion of the user.
Netflix, Hulu, DVD/Bluray, etc, it's all television.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

xonar (1069832) | more than 3 years ago | (#34566238)

Someone who "Watches TV" IMO means watching more than three 30 minute shows a day regularly, or if you watch more than one movie per day.

When I considered myself completely TV free, I wasn't watching anything on any medium, whether it be netflix, torrents, or plain old TV. Now that I have become addicted like usual when I begin watching anything with any regularity, I'm watching episodes of very particular shows for 3-4 hours per night on various "watch-show-name.com" sites...

I used to fill that time with personal projects, music production and mixing, exercising, light-gaming, and in general doing anything productive at all once I get home from work. Now it's the default to just come home at 6:00pm and flip on the episodes while cooking dinner, eating, and then sitting there watching either the same show or two to three different shows until it's time to go to bed. My g/f is now playing Aion (an mmo) from the time she wakes up til the time she goes to bed, quite literally. She'll do laundry, clean up a bit, and take care of our two big huskies; but her brain is completely melting atm (our car is broke down so I take the bus to work. She has literally not been off of our property for almost a month now). We're literally starting to have trouble with speech and pronunciation because we hardly ever talk, only type (even to each other).

I know everything should be done in moderation, but it's become rather hard to bring myself to do anything other than vegetate explicitly when I'm not at work. When I'm at work my desire to do things is completely bonkers and I end up researching stuff and planning stuff out that I never do with a firey passion, until it dies completely when I get home...

TV is alright if you're not watching it regularly (every day seems bad to me), but when consuming video content becomes your sole activity it does something to your brain...

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (3, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564004)

It's important to separate the content from the delivery method, because it affects how shows are produced. There is a finite amount of space on television channels. Shows don't get cancelled because they are not profitable, they get cancelled because something else could be more profitable on the same time slot. To be profitable, they need to be able to make enough money from adverts shown during the show to fund the development. In contrast, online distribution is effectively unlimited and viewers can pay directly. Shows don't have to compete for airspace - they can be made available for download when they are finished and distributed in parallel, so as long as they are profitable they can keep being made - if something else would be more profitable then it can be made as well. They can also be directly funded, without relying on adverts, so studios only have to convince the people who like the show that it's worth funding, not an intermediate third party.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (2)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564652)

> if something else would be more profitable then it can be made as well

This would be true if there were was more money, actors, studios, editors, etc... available. You said shows "get cancelled because something else could be more profitable on the same time slot". This is true, but it's actually more general than that. Shows get cancelled because the resources that go into creating some show can get a higher return if they are used to create something else. The time slot is only one of the scarce resources.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564256)

You're also instant messaging, talking on Facebook, or posting on Slashdot that there's nothing good on TV.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34566172)

I am one of the people that does not even watch TV. With stuff like Hulu and even Netflix, there is no need. You can watch all of your shows online.

In other words, you still watch television.

This isn't really a distinction without a difference. He's watching a show but he's not watching a network. Remember that the purpose of a commercial television station is to sell a product (your eyeballs) to customers (the advertisers.) Commercials are how the networks collect their chips. The bits that go in between are how they keep the eyeballs watching. What's that again? Oh, right -- television shows. That's why the execs don't really care about art or quality and they'll air idiot reality shows as soon as anything else. Whatever keeps the proles watching.

The net is breaking this business model. The networks are scrambling to catch up. Times past, size meant everything. You had three networks in the US. Murdoch required shitloads of cash to belly up as number four. Things like the WB were also-rans. You needed money to pay for the distribution channel and that's called a barrier to entry. You want to make a television show in this country, you had to sell it to the networks or try and live off of syndication to stations outside of the network primetime. Tough going.

Now Apple and Netflix are positioned to be the gatekeepers and there's no limit to the amount of programming out there. You only had so many hours of primetime a week on each channel. Now it's infinite. And now studios can sell their shows direct. The networks are becoming middlemen.

Yes, people are watching shows but they're not watching TV. This is hugh!!11 etc.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34567142)

No he watches the internet.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

tool462 (677306) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563910)

I watch TV. But usually I'm streaming Netflix or watching iTunes content on the Apple TV. I no longer have cable. I have rabbit ears attached to my TV for watching sporting events and PBS stuff for the kids.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563932)

I don't even watch Hulu!

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (4, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564346)

I don't even watch Hulu!

Pfft, I don't even have a computer to watch Hulu on. I'm posting this by shorting the terminals on a token ring cable.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34565714)

Typos must suck.

you pamper basterds. (1)

MonsterMasher (518641) | more than 3 years ago | (#34569254)

At least you have a token ring to use!

I only have a 1968 paper tap input device and 1/2 the pins don't work so I have to poke holes with my pen.

It's networked by an old fashion phone in suction cups modem system.

And I walk to work and back home up a hill both ways.

And do you know what? I like it!

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563958)

We have a 13" black and white TV and a digital converter box in the garage "just in case" our internet connection goes down and we can't get the news. Or if we still have a connection, but the news is so spectacular that major news outlet sites crash, we can rely on plucky tech communities to shoulder the burden (I'm looking at you, Slashdot of September 11, 2001).

I even have a usb tv adapter that I use from time to time with some rabbit ears just to see local news. No need to pull out the TV!

Otherwise, we consume all our entertainment media online. Netflix, Hulu, station sites (Fox, NBC, etc.), and... other flash-delivered sources.

Why? Because we don't want to pay for media we don't want to watch. We're happy to watch commercials for the TV shows we like (and actually enjoy the 1-2 minute surveys that sometimes pop up en lieu of commercials in Hulu), but we don't want to have to pay an intercessor an additional $50-$70 per month for the opportunity to ignore 99% of their presented content and still watch MORE commercials than we would online.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34564012)

To say that you do not watch TV is disengenuious. You do watch TV, you just do not watch it on a Television [set]. Regardless of how you control the content and/or the ads - you *do*, watch, tv.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564768)

I'd probably go that route if Hulu or Netflix had any content, but alas, it's all "not available in your country".

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34566092)

Hmm, I should have specified that when I refer to TV (since it is an abbreviation for television, you know, the T stands for tele and the V stands for vision), I was referring to the delivery method. The only reason why I don't own a TV is because I have a projector that aceepts the same inputs as a TV. Sorry, I would rather have 100 inch projector than a TV (don't worry, it is a Toshiba ET-10u, which is a model that was going for $350 about a year back, so it is not like I spent alot for it). Besides, I am a computer programmer with my main job and a pretty big side job going on, so I don't have much time to sit there and "veg out" in front of a show except for the 20-30 minutes I am eating breakfast/lunch/supper

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

Siggy200 (721326) | more than 3 years ago | (#34566186)

I don't watch Hulu or Netflix or much Televison. If anything I like to watch Space Shuttle blast off and landings on NASA TV on my 32 inch LCD. I am 72 years old. I spend a lot of time on the internet or on ham radio digital modes on 20 meters and playing with Microsoft Flight Simulators FS-2004 and FSX.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34566786)

The shitstorm of commercials and space-filler programming made me despise most TV years ago. No wonder the "choiceful" internet is gaining ground.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567200)

I wished Netflix didn't do subscriptions and did on demand since I don't watch many movies and old TV series/shows.

Too bad AMC didn't show the rest of season 1 online. :(

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (1)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568356)

I think a part of their defense ("TV is still relevant!") rests on redefining "TV" as a medium and trying to "adapt" it to the internet. By trying to re-implement broadcast television over the Internet, they are trying to maintain their old content restriction techniques and paradigms rather than changing to suit the future. To most people a "television" is a device -- and it is dead. To TV and marketing executives, TV is dying and they want to stop it, to drag us back into the 20th century. It is our duty to stop them.

Re:Some people do not even watch TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34570226)

With all due respect, I don't think this is exactly a fair comparison. If you're streaming video via the internet, while strictly it is from the internet, I consider it watching the tv. Sure the transit stream is different - but the entertainment there is mainly the same (with the exception of home made videos on youtube and the like).

I would consider hulu, and streaming netflix and other such services to be "watching tv", although this line is becoming more and more grey as time goes on.

I don't think of it as people are using the internet more; rather, people are using different transit methods to watch television content.

I guess it just depends upon how you look at things.

VHS (1)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563546)

Thats because the internet is something that I can control. Broadcast TV is simply not for me.

Re:VHS (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563644)

If Wikileaks and Anonymous proves anything, it's that no one controls the internet. There are a lot of interested and powerful people unable to stop what's going on.

Re:VHS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34563754)

Troll Flamebait monster attacks again. Go away little booger monster, no one is listening to you anymore.

Re:VHS (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563920)

>>>Broadcast TV is simply not for me.

Why's the subject say "VHS"? What was your point? (just curious). You're missing out with the broadcast tv, because where I live I get 40+ channels of news, sports, movies, international programming, retro-classic shows, and even a Music video channel --- completely free. Not one penny goes to the Comcast monopoly.

And yeah I still use the VHS (to copy shows off the DVR for long-term storage). Eventually my 3 old VCRs will probably die but until then I'll keep using them. Ditto my metal cassette recorder.

Breakaway year for Internet appliances (4, Interesting)

suso (153703) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563592)

I think 2010 has obviously been the break away year for Internet appliances like Bluray players with Youtube/Pandora/SocialFoobar built in. If the Internet is ever going to break, it might happen this holiday season with all the extra streaming.

Goodbye Free TV? (3, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563596)

Maybe it IS time to get rid of free, antenna-based TV (channels 2-51) and replace it with some kind of free wireless internet service. My only fear is that it won't really be free and end-up costing me ~$25/month.

Re:Goodbye Free TV? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563650)

That's my chief concern. There's going to be a critical mass going over to online offerings after which you can be damned sure the ISPs are going to put their foot down, and one way or the other, it will begin costing real bucks.

Re:Goodbye Free TV? (2)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563812)

Good point, but I also think you're missing the parent's rather subtle and clever point - Today, you can watch TV for free (granted you are required to give up some time for commercials, but you can always mute the TV or go unload the dishwasher).

All you need to do is put up a piece of metal (an antenna) and there's tons of content for free - In fact in many locales, "free" over-the-air HDTV is of better quality than the compressed HD service you get from the cable company. There's no 'free' internet - So if all this content moves online, what happens to the free OTA options?

Re:Goodbye Free TV? (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563994)

or go unload the dishwasher

You do THAT to your girlfriend while she's washing dishes?!

Re:Goodbye Free TV? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564040)

or go unload the dishwasher

You do THAT to your girlfriend while she's washing dishes?!

Considering most slashdotters traditionally live in their mom's basement, its actually a bit creepier than that.

Re:Goodbye Free TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34564132)

It does boggle my mind that the $0/month over-the-air HDTV is 10X better quality than Cox $50/month cable HDTV. The only exception is FIOS HDTV. I far and away prefer the FIOS picture over OTA.

Re:Goodbye Free TV? (1)

slyrat (1143997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34565388)

It does boggle my mind that the $0/month over-the-air HDTV is 10X better quality than Cox $50/month cable HDTV. The only exception is FIOS HDTV. I far and away prefer the FIOS picture over OTA.

That is because the pipes for the cable hdtv can only have so much throughput. If they want to put in more hdtv channels then the content has to be compressed or the throughput needs to be increased. COX obviously is going the compression route.

Re:Goodbye Free TV? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#34565594)

There's no 'free' internet

Sure there is -- it's called "unsecured wireless".

Re:Goodbye Free TV? (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 3 years ago | (#34566486)

Sure there is -- it's called "unsecured wireless".

Back in the good ol' days when the wireless routers shipped with security off by default, my neighbourhood was choc-a-bloc with these. Not any more...

Re:Goodbye Free TV? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564020)

No I was talking about the US FCC selling-off broadcast/antenna channels 2-51 for use by wireless internet.
I'd be okay with that but I'd not be happy seeing my monthly TV bill increase from $0.00 to ~25 just to watch Glee and local news/weather.

Re:Goodbye Free TV? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563976)

Certainly it will not be free.

Getting rid of OTA tv will make life interesting for the local stations, since there won't be any local transmitters. That makes the concept of must-carry status a bit fuzzy on the cabletv.

Honestly, I would not miss endless daytime springer reruns and 4 hours of infotainment-psuedonews talking about cookie recipes and live onsite coverage of rain, snow, and wind. Oh and hot and cold temperatures too.

There is a lot of money tied up in local TV stations, which will have a lot to say about this topic, certainly a lot more than we will get to say...

Re:Goodbye Free TV? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564692)

>>>Getting rid of OTA tv will make life interesting for the local stations

They'll just broadcast their content over their websites (example: wbal.tv) instead of using a 50,000 watt antenna. And of course the FCC will require they keep their location on the local Cable lineup.

As for the endless reruns of Springer, Judge XYZ, and so on..... obviously somebody is watching/taping those shows else they'd not be there. Those persons get their free daytime entertainment, and I get my free primetime lineup (news, weather, sitcoms, and movies). It's a good arrangement and at zero cost to me. :-)

Re:Goodbye Free TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34564148)

I still watch over the air tv for news and one or two shows per week. There is so much crap on tv, I just can't watch anymore. There used to be movies on till the wee hours, now its just infomercials. There used to be shows that you could watch. Now its just reality crap (most of its crap, occasionally something will come up thats not bad...). I'm tired of the dating shows. At least "The Dating Game" was funny, and only 30 minutes. The new hook up shows are unscripted, last an hour, and I really don't give a crap about whether jonny (the bus boy) is hooking up with steffie (the nail beautician), even though steffie was flirting with mikie (the nightclub car park attendant). In the last episode, steffie and mikie were gettin some serious sumpin sumpin on, and jonny caught them and got super jelous, and I REALLY DON"T CARE!!! TV used to have paid actors, paid script writers, set designers, sets, a story, something worth watching... Thats why I only watch news, the occasional show, and then either dvd's, or something streaming off the net. With digital, everything is so clear, too bad the content is so bad.

Re:Goodbye Free TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34565254)

> My only fear is that it won't really be free and end-up costing me ~$25/month.

Now what precedent could _possibly_ make you think that??

Tugging my tinfoil hat more tightly down my ears, my second thought was it's easier to tune in unmonitored to airwaves than to the internet. Though this may be a delusion that gets me put up against the wall when the revolution comes.

Re:Goodbye Free TV? (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 3 years ago | (#34565888)

Like, let's say for example, Google TV?
The problem with broadcasters, is that they don't realize what Google does, they are making money from advertisers in their air broadcast, but they refuse to make money from advertisers on the Internet. I'm thinking this is more of a Cable company push, that doesn't allow TV channels of getting rid of the "middle man" (cable companies) in the business.

I'm surprised it didn't happen more quickly TBH (1)

Coldegg (1956060) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563666)

Somewhat surprising it took until now... with our jobs often centered around working on the internet (as is the case for quite a many people even outside IT)... then of course staying in touch via personal email, facebook, etc. I could understand that the elderly had further to go, but in reality managing those things is pretty consuming (even without online gaming, etc).

As mentioned by others, I consume 99% of my television via Netflix. Usually once a series has finished I'll watch the whole thing in a week or two. I never did like the lag time between shows.

Re:I'm surprised it didn't happen more quickly TBH (2)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563792)

The fun thing is to watch an entire series over the course of a month or so.

The realization that you've just watched like _7 years_ worth of programming in a month is always awesome and scary at the same time.

Also watching episode after episode, you notice things (some good, some bad) that you wouldn't if there was a week between each episode. For instance Babylon 5 gets very depressing for like 2 seasons. I didn't notice it as much when I was watching it on TV .. but you watch it back-to-back .. and it's a completely different experience.

Progression --- (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563712)

1940's person has dinner with the radio playing Fibber McGee, Jack Benny or Fred Allen

1970's person has TV dinner, Pizza, etc., while watching Television

2000's person has dinner at their personal computer.

2010's person has dinner at their mobile laptop/device/tablet

FWIW, I stopped watching TV actively about 10 years ago (excepting World Cups) The internet is far more entertaining that TV.

Re:Progression --- (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563956)

Actually, dinner time has become my only TV time. It's when I catch up on shows, but I watch Netflix DVDs 95% of the time, so does that count as internet? :-)

Where do video games land here? My HDTV shows more video games than TV or movies.

Re:Progression --- (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564142)

Actually, dinner time has become my only TV time. It's when I catch up on shows, but I watch Netflix DVDs 95% of the time, so does that count as internet? :-)

Where do video games land here? My HDTV shows more video games than TV or movies.

Games are all part of whatever interaction is taking place on the device - 1.3 million (IIRC) copies of some MMORPG iteration sold the other day - how many hours does it take to get anywhere in one of these games - 70, 150, 300 or more? That time isn't spent watching ads for the new Ford, Revlon products or what Bernie Madoff & Son can do for your portfolio.

I know people who sit around texting all the time while eating. It's so weird at work to enter the break room and see everyone on a device of some kind.

Like TV displaced radio, mobile interaction is displacing TV (not that I'm too surprised, I watch TV for a few minutes and have the instant urge to turn on the (already on) TV on to see if there's anything more interesting. What does that say about it?

Re:Progression --- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34564034)

1940's person has dinner with the radio playing Fibber McGee, Jack Benny or Fred Allen

1970's person has TV dinner, Pizza, etc., while watching Television

2000's person has dinner at their personal computer.

2010's person has dinner at their mobile laptop/device/tablet

Ahaaaa, I see the progression! Soon we won't eat dinner at all! Brilliant! The next phase of human evolution is upon us!

And relatedly (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564140)

I would love to see a poll (especially of Slashdotters) of how many Americans still use their dinner table for said activity. Or even if they actually have a dinner table. I suspect the rate of decline would match fairly well with the increases of US obesity.

Re:And relatedly (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564594)

My dinner table holds up my rock collection.

I eat at the computer or while watching DVDs on my mini-DVD player.

Re:Progression --- (2)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34565086)

1940s many people have radios, few have televisions, neighbours still say hello

1970s most people have televisions, neighbours watch other people getting stabbed out front on the street

2000s many people use computers, being taken to war by a lying President seems ok

2010s people talk Likelish, use SMS spelling (OMG LOL) in schoolwork, and Reality Television makes the challenges of scriptwriting and acting unnecessary

2025 Idiocracy

Obvious question (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563724)

Is of course how long television is going to be around.

From my perspective, television offers no real benefit over the internet for transferring video. The same can probably be said about VOIP vs. POTS (aside from reliability I guess).

There are of course two obstacles:

Mass adoption (not _everyone_ has high speed internet yet.. ).

And the big one.. the “big guys” don’t want it to happen.

I envision a day when everyone has one line (and I hope to the fire cactus that it’s fiber) coming to their home.. from which their phone, tv, internet, and whatever else come through. But I envision being dead before it happens .. or at least close.

Re:Obvious question (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564062)

>From my perspective, television offers no real benefit over the internet for transferring video.

Except, of course, for the lack of network congestion when 6000 people are either transfering 2.5MB/s total to watch an episode of Star Trek or 15,000 MB/S to watch one episode of Star Trek, all at the exact same moment.

Re:Obvious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34564206)

>From my perspective, television offers no real benefit over the internet for transferring video.

Except, of course, for the lack of network congestion when 6000 people are either transfering 2.5MB/s total to watch an episode of Star Trek or 15,000 MB/S to watch one episode of Star Trek, all at the exact same moment.

If you're multicasting and allowing local storage of video, it actually makes peak bandwidth needed less per show than current Cable TV. What you're talking about are technical limitations. Realistically, however, the world is moving on. First world countries are all investing heavily in fat pipes as infrastructure to remain cutting edge for technology and they will make streaming five or six simultaneous shows to a residence very reasonable within the next decade. Crumbling empires like the U.S. are likely to have problems, but not due to any technical failure, simply because it is more profitable for the corporations that write the laws to keep the resource scarce and because those same corporations deliver most of the media and convince the citizenry that they are the best at everything, regardless of the facts about how far the US is falling behind.

Re:Obvious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34564288)

Why couldn't the large TV networks just go into the CDN business? Heck, if you could build a locality-aware protocol similar to bittorrent, the customers could be the CDN.

Re:Obvious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34564514)

How long television will be around depends on how you define "television".

Televisions, the devices, will be around for a very long time. They will evolve, certainly. They may be little more than big monitors with built-in speakers at some point, but they'll be around. Computers, phones, and other alternate devices for viewing television content have a general tendency toward portability, and TVs have a general tendency toward being large, guaranteeing that these two markets will not overlap very much at all.

Non-subscription television content likewise will evolve, probably more dramatically than the devices. OTA will be increasingly supplemented by Internet, with live content likely lagging pre-recorded.

Subscription television content will evolve the most of all. Cable and satellite will continue losing ground to Netflix/Blockbuster/other Internet-based services. Cable operators will run a real risk of just turning into a dumb pipe that leads to content provided by others. That said, operating a dumb pipe isn't exactly a profit-free proposition, especially for monopolies, so few will actually go out of business due to this shift in the market.

Re:Obvious question (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34565300)

Cable operators will run a real risk of just turning into a dumb pipe that leads to content provided by others.

This is probably the biggest obstacle. The companies for the most part run the networks required by the other companies who want to cut into their television business. They either have to find a way to profit in this new frontier .. or dig in their heels and hold on as long as possible, and given the history in situations like this, I have a good guess which they'll do.

Re:Obvious question (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567620)

Single point of failure - Internet access goes out, start thinking again.

Re:Obvious question (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568614)

Sure, although people do that here. You can get a phone, cable, and internet "bundle" through the local cable provider (Eastlink). All comes through one wire.

It has gone out (we had a hurricane a while back that knocked it out). People manage.. most people have a cell phone they can use in an emergency.

To quote Star Trek (2)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563742)

Data: I think he means television, sir. ... That particular form of entertainment did not last much beyond the year Two Thousand Forty.

Are people's habits really changing? (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563788)

Or is this just because we all keep getting older, the oldest are dying and the youngest are learning to use a computer?

Re:Are people's habits really changing? (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563916)

Or is this just because we all keep getting older, the oldest are dying and the youngest are learning to use a computer?

The old quote used to be that young people always think their generation was the first to invent sex and music, and I guess we have to add "use computers" to that list.

I actually watch more TV in all forms now (1)

Julie188 (991243) | more than 3 years ago | (#34563940)

It makes sense that Internet usage rivals TV watching since most of us are actually watching video (and often TV shows) via the Internet. But I find that I am watching more video overall ... DVR'd TV shows, Netflix on Roku, Hulu ... than I did a few years ago. All this competition has made it easier to find great stuff to watch. Last weekend, I read a book -- first time in I don't know how long ... and I used to be a book-a-week reader. TV has gotten better. Julie

Rubbish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34563950)

More people are using the Internet to watch TV, that's all.

tv is irrelavent (3)

cdn-programmer (468978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564070)

TV is irrelevant. It is a complete waste of time. I already know enough about soap and female deodorant products to last me a lifetime.

They blew it. This is a one way street. There It is really nice not having a cable bill!

Re:tv is irrelavent (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34565060)

They blew it. This is a one way street. There It is really nice not having a cable bill!

The bigger bill to be free of is the 60+ hour bill of your time every month.

If you aren't a sports fan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34564292)

it isn't a tough decision... 8.99 for netflix, or 60 bucks for 300 channels that might have 2 or 3 decent programs/movies on?

However, I do miss my local sports team playing, but... eh... its not work 50 bucks. Then again, I work for a big evil corp, so I get paid very little.

Internet is mostly irrelavent as well. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34565152)

I fairly recently got a bundle from my local internet/phone/cable provider only to find out that even with 80 channels there's still nothing worth watching. So now I guess I can say there's 4294.97 million
  ip addresses and its all still crap.

TVs & Movies vs Internet & Games (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34565660)

I personally much prefer getting drawn into a compelling interactive story than having the story force fed to me, with no pause or rewind... esp if the story is interleaved with commercials. TV & Cinema just seem so antiquated.

I enjoy socially interacting with friends, family, and strangers online in games or forums, IRC, etc. more than I enjoy trying to get excited about someone else's sport-game, game-show, or stale "evening news" that I've already read online.

I stopped watching TV when I discovered the entertainment value of role-playing games, video games, playing sports, etc.
When it comes to entertainment ( Interactive > Passive ) to me.

I refuse to re-order my life around a TV Broadcast schedule. To those that recommend I use a DVR, to "catch" the shows I may be interested in are missing the point. I don't want to pay for an over-priced service that is full of commercials -- that's what ads are for folks, to help pay for the service!

Yes, I do know that ads exist online, they are largely unobtrusive (else I hit "back"), more valuable to advertisers (track-able views), and keep me from paying extra to have access to millions of sites (AKA Info Channels) than to access just a few hundred sites. With TV via cable & satellite subscription models I have to pay much more to be able to access more channels -- I'm only watching one at channel at a time... If satellite had a low base price that includes access to all available channels, like the Internet does, I might be interested.

Shows that are available on the Internet are available to me at the moment I decide to watch them. With a DVR, I have to know I want to watch something ahead of time, or pay an exorbitant fee just to receive a limited selection of 'TV on demand' (AKA Internet Delivered TV -- else it's not truly on-demand). Obligatory Car Analogy: I would rather drive a car than wait for a buss.

For me, a 30+ age category statistic, TV has been dead for many many years. Also Note: It's much cheaper to create your own "info channel" online than it is to start your own TV station.

Probably not missing much (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567170)

If TV were to go by the wayside, probably not missing much. It can be a lot more, I remember when local stations showed old movies (in 1970s seeing Gina Lollobrigida in "Fast and Sexy" made me a fan of hers). But now it is all paid programming (why, why, why does anyone watch that stuff). Prime time shows don't do anything for me (same ol' themes: medical, law, crime, and reality shows). I used to watch Discovery, History, Sci-Fi but now they either do repeats or "ghost hunters" type of shows. So if these stations go out of business, I will not miss them because I don't watch their current programming.

I watch some channels such as TCM or Retro but I've noticed a trend of them repeating movies (hey, "it's been some years since you've shown Looking For Love").

I've heard many local stations are not doing very well financially. They are able to cut corners using paid programming or reduce staff (i.e. ENG vans have only the cameraman. They used to have three people: talent, soundman, and cameraman). Though it seems every TV station allocation (FCC Part 73) is already allocated.

But I also ask could it be they, the Hollywood and Media moguls, are pricing themselves out of the market? Such as TVLand only shows Andy Griffith, Everyone Loves Raymond, Hot in Cleveland, repeat... There are many shows that are ***never*** shown such as "Highway Patrol" and "Ripcord." I saw some listings of photos of celebrities by a well-known photog (I'll keep that nameless for now to not stir up the pot) which his son is selling but asking $75 a print (not originals but reprints), geez lighten up. It is not like he will make enough to buy a house. It leaves high potential for counterfeiters to zip in and capture the market with "bandit" prints at only $5 or $10 each.

Continuing with my rant, there's lots of good stuff out there but "copyright owners" demand so much in royalties and licenses that only way for us commoners to see these works are from bandits that post in Youtube and Flickr. Then the "copyright owners" scream foul, run to congress demanding laws to shutdown "The Internet" or some other screwy legislation.

Younger than 30 for several years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34567554)

"And while people younger than 30 years old have spent more time with the Internet than television for several years, Forrester's survey shows that this is the first year that people in older age groups are doing so as well."

Riiiight. Because those folks younger than 30 several years ago are still under 30 now. *rolls eyes*

Well *I* watch TV... (1)

bwalzer (708512) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567696)

Just because I like to feel different I will state that I sometimes watch TV the traditional way. I learned a long time ago that there is no such thing as good TV. At some point in my life I gave up on cable and just watched Canadian network television. After a period of adjustment I found I was wasting as much time and more to the point enjoying it as much as before.

TV is like radio. You allow others to decide what you see and hear so you don't have to decide anything. TV is for those times you are not engaged with life enough to play video games. Breaking it up into bite sized chunks and putting it on the net transforms it into something else.

BTW I think the "TV effect" explains how things like infomercials can continue to exist. You don't see stuff like that in other mediums. TV is special in some way...

Survey Answer Is (joke) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34568148)

I watch tv shows on the Internet.

Plough.(survey worker head explodes)

WhatMeWorry

TV and Net both tools of the devil (1)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568166)

I gave up my TV over 10 years ago and have since discovered that ...while TV and its relentless ad madness and vapid programming are soul-sucking
like an upside-down Kansas tornado, ...with the Net you have the freedom to leap into the pit of hell from whatever part of
the rim you choose, thereby retaining some measure of control of which rocks you
hit on your way to rock bottom.

Progress indeed.

As a navy vet concerned about national security... (1)

steelersteve13 (1372165) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568352)

I'm thinking more and more that most of these leaks have less to with "national security" and more to with payback from McCrystal over his firing; he paid Manning to take the rap. For Manning's trouble, $50,000 is a nice number; that's what it would be worth to me.
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