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118 comments

I watch lots of TV (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35982128)

I still watch lots of TV. Netflix and Youtube give me hours of entertainment for a grand total of $30/month. ($20 for internet, $10 for netflix). This particular gravy train probably won't continue forever, but it sure is nice.

Re:I watch lots of TV (-1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982196)

Can you imagine what Khloe Kardashian's pussy looks like when it's being dialated by Lamar Odom's monstrous black cock? It must look like an elephant leg stepping out of a pink sock.

Re:I watch lots of TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35982252)

Someone forgot to check post anon...

Re:I watch lots of TV (1, Troll)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982264)

That's what happens when you post drunk.

Obviously he is ethanol fueled.

--
BMO

Finally someone with brains (1)

fremean (1189177) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982178)

Seriously - anyone else would have blamed piracy and people downloading episodes from countries that played the shows 6 months ago...

Re:Finally someone with brains (4, Insightful)

halowolf (692775) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982518)

Yes it is nice to get someone that has an open mind as to what the problems with TV are. I like watching TV shows, however I don't watch many anymore. I don't like shows coming out 6 months to a year later, I don't like time slots being moved around so much that its hard to record them without a Tivo-esque device (or with the 5 - 10 minute schedule drift many of the major channels employ). I don't like ads that blast the room with sound when they employ their volume shifting bastardry.

What I like is watching the shows when I want to watch them, scheduling them into my life rather than having to schedule my life around them. What all content providers have to get their head around is that these technologies are empowering users to live a social and interactive life their way and if you don't want to keep up with that or embrace it then there is going to be problems.

Re:Finally someone with brains (3, Informative)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 2 years ago | (#35984940)

And when they go into reruns part way through the season, or they stop broadcasting entirely for a couple of weeks or more and then come back on. And what is it with the short season lengths? TV seasons used to last 25 to 30 weeks. Now they're 12 weeks???? To say TV is getting more lame as time goes on is like saying Ci Lo is just chunky. Maybe if they provided something worth watching instead of 'reality tv' they wouldn't be so far behind. It's all for the shareholders.

Create something cheap to produce to maximize revenue for the shareholders, instead of worrying about good product for the customers and long term stability for the employees. Instead of win, win, win, it is win for a short time, get fucked, get fucked. And then eventually the customers get tired of the crap product and it is lose lose lose. End of story.

Over emphasize of the shareholders so the already overpaid CEO can get bigger bonuses for a short time then out the door with a gold parachute. Same bullshit that plagues the financial industry plagues every other industry in North America and Europe lately. Sure, the shareholders should get paid, but not to the exclusion of long term viability. Businesses like these have adopted the parasitic self-cannibalization strategy since around 1990.

Re:Finally someone with brains (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35985690)

When a large company CEO says he is doing something "for the shareholders" it usually means for himself. Shareholders don't seem to benefit nearly as much as the uppermost slice of management does.

Australian Effect? (4, Informative)

cappp (1822388) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982198)

I wonder if this is some kind of regional effect, or perhaps a little hyperbole designed to keep things interesting. The most recent numbers I could find note that in the UK [guardian.co.uk]

"Viewers watched an average of three hours and 45 minutes of television a day in 2009, 3% more than in 2004, according to research published today by the media regulator Ofcom"

If there was some generational effect going on (the article does note that the elderly watch more than the average) it would be somewhat mitigated by the Economist's finding that

"In December 2009, Nielsen estimated that 34% of internet users had the television on while surfing the net. But when tuning in for a programme, television-watchers used the internet only about 3% of the time"

US numbers [nielsen.com] show a similar trend -

"the average American watches approximately 153 hours of TV every month at home, a 1.2% increase from last year"

Those who are interested should check out the American Time Use Survey [bls.gov] - it has some rather interesting content (for instance: 15 to 19 read for an average of 5 minutes per weekend day while spending 1.0 hour playing games or using a computer for leisure. )
Taking the two pieces together it would seem we're watching more TV in general, and when we're online we have the TV on anyway. Hardly seems worth pounding the drums of the apocalypse over.

Re:Australian Effect? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35983610)

Yeah but if you're watching TV with your laptop you sure as hell aren't paying attention to the commercials, which is all they care about. TV programming is just an inconvenient chore they suffer to get you to watch TV ads.

If more people watch whatever sitcom but all read Facebook while the ads run, the TV execs fail.

Re:Australian Effect? (1)

The Archon V2.0 (782634) | more than 2 years ago | (#35986360)

Fear not, I hear there's a network that has this new ad style coming out to combat people's short attention spans. It's called "blipverts".

Re:Australian Effect? (1)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 2 years ago | (#35983968)

"Viewers watched an average of three hours and 45 minutes of television a day in 2009"

That is absolutely fucking insane.

Re:Australian Effect? (1)

dead_user (1989356) | more than 2 years ago | (#35983990)

"The average American watches approximately 153 hours of TV every month at home," That's 5 hours a day. Very, very sad.

Re:Australian Effect? Aus TV generally sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35989612)

Ima Strain and eye wotch tele lots - Not. Fuck Australian TV producers are money sponging bullshit artists who whore anything for a $. Consider the "Neighbours" TV program., two of the producers for the program were fired, not for being junkies, but for being junkies with outrageous smack habits that were way out of control; and the script writer was busted with his pants around his ankles paying some 14yo boy to suck his cock.... and the cops kicked in the flat door mid blow job.

.

Late night TV is or has been fucking shitful amounts of late night mobile phone stripper adds, and repeats of the same adds like 5 times in a row and then after 5 minutes of that crap, they sling the TV show and it's extremely dwindling fan base, back to 5 minutes of show and the same fucking adds.

.

Fuck me... whehalf the country was flooding in January, they ran 24 /7 coverage of the flooding on more or less all channels, and it was the same fucking coverage all day and all night and wall to wall idiot fucking add libbing, and every hour or so, the news would get up dated with a new street name, that has another centimeter rise in flood depth... as I sat there waist deep in flood water flowing through my home.

.

The last thing I want to watch when my home is being flooded, and I am sitting for a meal break, is to see nothing but 24/7 news containing nothing but flooding and and the stupid fucking incessant "can't say something, say anything" shit bag journalism. After the flooding went down, I gave my TV away.

.

To be fair, not every journalist is a stupid arse licking fuck, and not every TV program is "shit for brains" melodrama's or re-runs of reruns of reruns; but alot of it is political // corporate arselicking crap, and most of the journalists are fucking dickheads, and most of the TV programs is compost for growing couch potatoes...

.

As far as the "ME TOO" cloning of the crap that comes from the USA... fuck that. From a nation that is run by corporations and the terds that like that environment, and has 5% of the worlds population but consumes 2/3rds of the worlds anti-psychotic drugs... it says plenty. Each kid sees something like half a million murders on TV.... etc., etc., etc., fuck Australian TV.

One way to fight back ... (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982202)

... part of the problem is that most people are stuck having to buy a "package" from either a cable or satellite provider. If HD TV stations increased their OTA (over-the-airwaves) presence (better antenna positioning, more repeaters), people would have more free (as in it doesn't cost more than a pair of bunny ears) HD TV.

... and that would help them compete, because many streaming Internet services will run up against their ISP's bandwidth caps if heavily used.

Re:One way to fight back ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35982918)

Pay TV is fairly uncommon in Australia. There's 21 free-to-air HD channels, a handful of which are duplicates of another channel (there's only 5 major broadcasters and not all have filled their allotment with unique programming).

Re:One way to fight back ... (1)

dwarfsoft (461760) | more than 2 years ago | (#35983450)

You mean they haven't filled it all up with Two and a Half Men? j/k.

I think the major issue that TV has had with the Internet generation is that it airs the "new" US shows from 6-18 months behind their release dates in the US, which lead to widespread piracy of the shows at their release time in the US and less people watching the "New Episode" release on TV 6 months later. Recently they started lagging behind by only a couple of weeks, but in peak sport times we tend to put shows on hold and catch up 3 months later, which again leads to downloading and watching for the die-hard core fans.

Once the digital channels fill out their allotments and continue showing series through these key sport periods (even if relegated to one of the secondary or tertiary channels over this period) there will be a lot less piracy.

Outside of the piracy aspect, though, there is not a whole lot of worthwhile original content on TV these days anyway. The Internet has hours of distraction a click away and TV simply cannot compete with that. It does not surprise me that people are on the Internet while TV is on in the background (this is the case for me at this moment).

Seasons are behind because seasons are behind (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35983772)

it airs the "new" US shows from 6-18 months behind their release dates in the US

That might be because Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, whose climate is 6 months behind that of Europe and North America. If the weather seasons are 6 months behind, why shouldn't the TV seasons be?

Re:Seasons are behind because seasons are behind (1)

dwarfsoft (461760) | more than 2 years ago | (#35984004)

We could also argue that since our Time is ahead of yours, so too could our Seasons be ahead. :)

If AU is ahead, let it produce the shows instead (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35984572)

I considered that when writing my previous comment, but then I realized that if Australia were so far ahead, an Australian studio instead of a US or UK based studio would have produced the show and then sent it to the North on a six-month tape delay.

Re:If AU is ahead, let it produce the shows instea (1)

my $anity 0 (917519) | more than 2 years ago | (#35985722)

I imagine a 10000 mile roll of tape going from Australia to New York, traveling at a constant speed of about 1m/s. That's rather fast for tape, too. You could probably fit High Definition video feeds on there.

Well yeah (3, Insightful)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982204)

People aren't happy with passive entertainment like they once were. They want to be engaged.

Some good TV shows can do that, but most of them do not.

Re:Well yeah (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982224)

You know the answer to this. Embed more Facebook "pages" in programming! That way, everything from standard TV serials to the news can be edgy, hip, and completely worth watching!

Re:Well yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35982278)

They'll have to broadcast a barcode of some kind for us to point our phones and cuecats which direct us to the online interactment.

Re:Well yeah (4, Insightful)

toejam13 (958243) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982500)

It goes beyond this.

Television content today is increasingly targeting dumb viewers. Advertisers are aware that intelligent viewers are not swayed by their advertising. To keep impressionable viewers watching, you need the kind of dumb content that draws them in. As a result, intelligent content is being pushed to the few premium providers that forgo traditional advertising.

It is something of a downward spiral. Content is stupid. Methods to access much of that content are still stupid. Savvy viewers quickly become frustrated with the fragmented paywalls, delayed releases and other obstacles, so they either pirate the content they want or simply go without. Why wait several months for the next season of Big Love to be released for streaming on Netflix when you can grab an HD MP4 of it from the Usenet or a Torrent site the day after it airs?

And the mini-sat and cable companies don't help things with their fucked up channel packages. To watch the handful of shows I still like, I'd have to subscribe to over $70/mo worth of channels. 98% of the content shown is little more than visual tripe. Why bother?

When the Boomers start dying off, traditional television as we know it will probably die with them. Maybe then we'll see a Renaissance in the television world. Until then, the people who came up with Retarded Guido TV, My Vagina is a Clown Car, Laugh at the Midgets Show and Lifestyles of Retarded Alaskan Politicians can all DIAF. So can the shitheads who watch it, too.

Re:Well yeah (2)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982618)

...you can grab an HD MP4 of it from a Torrent site the day after it airs?

I fixed that for you. You have got to be more careful about following the rules.

Re:Well yeah (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982720)

When the Boomers start dying off, traditional television as we know it will probably die with them.

I'm a boomer, and judging by your post I care a whole lot less about TV than you do. Same goes for my 77yo dad who spends most days in his garden and most evenings on his computer.

Re:Well yeah (2)

funkatron (912521) | more than 2 years ago | (#35983480)

It goes beyond this.

Television content today is increasingly targeting dumb viewers. Advertisers are aware that intelligent viewers are not swayed by their advertising. To keep impressionable viewers watching, you need the kind of dumb content that draws them in. As a result, intelligent content is being pushed to the few premium providers that forgo traditional advertising.

Really? Sorry, but go watch some 80s tv, go watch some 90s tv (youtube might help here). There has ALWAYS been dumb shit on tv, picking out good stuff has ALWAYS been hard. I seriously doubt there is an increase here.

Re:Well yeah (3, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | more than 2 years ago | (#35983986)

I see TVs used for these purposes:

1: Placate older viewers who have not hopped onto the Internet as a mainstream source of information.

2: Act as background noise so people waiting in some sort of waiting room have something to focus on.

3: A distraction in a hospital room.

4: People who want to be spoon fed the news. For example, in 5-10 minutes of reading Google News, I get all the stories that it would take a TV watcher 1-2 hours of sitting there getting spoon fed whatever biased info the station chooses to put on there. Of course, Websites can be biased, but it is easy to flip between several and at least figure out a nugget of truth out of the haystack of propaganda.

With this in mind, it is understandable that the top tier economic base of people have moved from TV to other forms of entertainment.

It shows in how much money is being spent on TV shows too. TV studios don't care to spend the top dollar on sci-fi shows and special effects. Why do that, when doing a "reality show" is far cheaper? Why pay for a sonic screwdriver wielder when a Snooki will score the advertising bucks?

This race to the bottom is not just killing TV, but radio too. Radio once was the place to find new bands. Now, that has been replaced by word of mouth, YouTube, and services like last.fm and Pandora, and what you hear on the radio is likely what people's fathers or grandfathers heard when they were drag-racing their Trans-Ams.

What needs to happen? A return to the roots. TV has a niche for education, especially kids too small to really put in front of a computer. This is what the inventor of the medium conceptualized TV as being for. TV also needs to start showing stuff that other mediums have trouble with, such as films from up and coming producers. Radio needs an enema too. They need to go back to having not just a 1-2 hour special on Friday nights with new stuff, but start showcasing new bands... just like they used to before the late 90s. Then they might be relevant in daily life again.

Re:Well yeah (2)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#35989196)

in 5-10 minutes of reading Google News, I get all the stories that it would take a TV watcher 1-2 hours of sitting there getting spoon fed whatever biased info the station chooses to put on there.

This is your own fault for watching "local" news, or the morning semi-newsy entertainment shows. The real news is on CBS or ABC at 4:30am. It takes hours of reading the headlines to get the info they provide in 30 minutes (actually 20 without commercials).

And that's just the top of the heap. The nightly "world" news programs are damn respectable too. As is ABC's hours of late night news. Saying TV news is no good, based on local news is like saying tv is no good because reality tv shows suck. There's plenty of non crap, if you try to find it.

Re:Content (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#35984742)

Hmm.

I don't watch any "TV". I haven't had a "TV" for seven years.
However, I do watch a nice chunk of Hulu, because you can stack 3 episodes and watch them in a bloc on a random Thursday at 10PM. I wouldn't call House, Fairly Legal, or The Chicago Code "stupid". Every writer knows that scripts are "Hollywood-ized", so be it. But those are passably intelligent shows.

You can vote down (or up) ads on Hulu, so presumably if you downvote the Washing Machine ads some five times, they eventually go away. I try to vote up the Audible.com ads because I want to see who else is doing Audio Books, but nothing showed up yet.

But yes, I agree, your average '80's show won't cut it anymore.

Re:Well yeah (4, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#35985232)

Television content today is increasingly targeting dumb viewers.

Right. Hogan's Heros. Gilligan's Island. The A-Team. Fantasy Island.

Monday Night Football. NASCAR Racing.

The pinnacle of Western Civilization. Them's some strong rose colored glasses you got on there son.

Re:Well yeah (2)

benhattman (1258918) | more than 2 years ago | (#35989754)

I agree. We always look back at the old and think it was great because we've forgotten the mediocre and only remember the truly great or truly bad. For instance, we know music was amazing in the 60s/70s because look what you had: The Beatles, Led Zepplin, The Who, etc. Contrast that with me not naming anyone great making music today and you can see how the times have changed.

That said, the transition of prime time TV from sitcoms towards reality programming does seem worse to many of us than what came before. I'd take the A-Team over American Idol any day. And even when the reality show is of good quality, which the A-Team was not, programming today tends to be meaner. And I don't really need to watch more mean things.

Re:Well yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35994316)

I think he means EVEN dumber. He realizes television has been dumb before, it's just that the race to the bottom has sped up again.

Re:Well yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35982580)

Amen, man!

Re:Well yeah (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 2 years ago | (#35983938)

You can also put it this way:

Watching TV series is like living other people's lives.
At least with social media we are living our own lives again...

No, they're not... (4, Insightful)

PRMan (959735) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982206)

TV is struggling to fight back.

If they actually WERE serious about competing, they would make TV easy to watch on the viewer's terms. But they fight every attempt of that happening by continuously putting blocks between the customer and the shows.

Re:No, they're not... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35982274)

Pretty much. It's easy to see why TV is falling behind when broadcast companies flip shit when video providers like Time Warner Cable make a stinking iPad app to let people have another means of watching TV in their home.

Re:No, they're not... (5, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982288)

They change show's time slots, both time and day, break seasons up into at least 2 widely spaced parts, pop up insanely large and distracting station identifiers, alter show start times slightly so poorly designed DVRs miss the beginning or the end. In general, they seem to *want* people to download shows or watch them through another medium. I find it incomprehensible.

Re:No, they're not... (1)

doesnothingwell (945891) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982594)

they seem to *want* people to download shows or watch them through another medium.

They're just trying maximize ad revenue and please advertisers. The viewers are just CHUM to attract the big fish. Ok, so it's not a car metaphor.

Re:No, they're not... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35982840)

Not to mention the horribly antiquated technology they're using...

Is it 1080? or 1088?
59.94 FPS, 23.976 FPS, 3000/1001 FPS?
Why are you letterboxing 16:9 content?
Why the HELL are you letterboxing 16:9 into a pillarboxed 4:3 into a 16:9 stream?!
Overscan?... still? What is this, the 1970's?
Is it Interlaced? Is it Telecined? Is it interlaced and telecined? who knows/cares?

They had a chance to change for the better with the switch to digital broadcasting and recording, but completely blew it - ATSC? what a pile of garbage, and MPEG-2?! COME ON!
At least the EU got h.264 from the start (Tacking it onto an already-adopted standard doesn't count!)

Maybe my view is slanted by the fact that I'm using an antenna for TV.

Re:No, they're not... (1)

svick (1158077) | more than 2 years ago | (#35983570)

Well, AFAIK, some EU countries do use H.264 for their digital terrestrial broadcasting. But many of them (most?) actually use MPEG-2.

Re:No, they're not... (1)

visualight (468005) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982852)

Whenever there's a good show it's almost you can bet money it will be canceled by the end of season 1 (or the first half of season 1).

obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35984898)

FIREFLY

Re:No, they're not... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#35985274)

They change show's time slots, both time and day, break seasons up into at least 2 widely spaced parts, pop up insanely large and distracting station identifiers, alter show start times slightly so poorly designed DVRs miss the beginning or the end. In general, they seem to *want* people to download shows or watch them through another medium. I find it incomprehensible.

Man. The hate. I know Fox canceled 'Firefly', but that was years ago.

Let it rest, already.

Re:No, they're not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35982306)

I agree.

Why does anyone need cable anymore with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus?

Netflix $10 per month
Amazon Prime $80 per year
Hulu Plus $8 per month

That's $25 a month. Less than half of my old cost of $60 expanded basic cable.

Re:No, they're not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35982362)

I agree.

Why does anyone need cable anymore with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus?

Netflix $10 per month
Amazon Prime $80 per year
Hulu Plus $8 per month

That's $25 a month. Less than half of my old cost of $60 expanded basic cable.

Though it may be used for other things, you failed to include the cost for the bandwidth to get those. Also for a family, they can't easily watch multiple shows at the same time around the home, as you can do with cable or satellite tv.

Re:No, they're not... (1)

24-bit Voxel (672674) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982676)

Not entirely true. My wife and I have 1 login for Netflix, 1 charge per month, but we can use that login on as many machines as we want.

Re:No, they're not... (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982838)

True, but your streams are limited to what DVD plan you are on. 2 DVDs a month, you get 2 streams. Also, most consumer connections are going to be hard pressed to stream more then 2 HD videos at the same time. Also you are limited to 6 activated devices at a time( Xbox 360, Roku, PC1, PC2, etc.) per account

Re:No, they're not... (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982578)

Because 95% of the world's population lives outside of the USA?

Re:No, they're not... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#35985308)

Because 95% of the world's population lives outside of the USA?

We are the ones that are supposed to be consuming. Everybody else is supposed to work. That's what they told me anyway.

Re:No, they're not... (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35983912)

Why does anyone need cable anymore with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus?

Reason 1: Comcast and other cable ISPs give a deep discount on TV to their Internet subscribers.

Reason 2: As I understand it, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus are good for works that can be tape delayed by months to a year. Live news and live sports are not this way. Some people like to watch MSNBC's Morning Joe with their morning joe. And if you have a sports fan living with you, he won't be amused at losing access to sporting events that aren't on the broadcast networks, such as out-of-market games or motor racing.

Reason 3: Services like these tend to be U.S.-only, and I've been told they lack foreign counterparts due to country-specific exclusive licensing deals signed before there was a European Union. How much does a U.S. green card cost again?

Re:No, they're not... (1)

RogerWilco (99615) | more than 2 years ago | (#35987596)

Reason 3: Services like these tend to be U.S.-only, and I've been told they lack foreign counterparts due to country-specific exclusive licensing deals signed before there was a European Union. How much does a U.S. green card cost again?

Yeah, the situation outside the US sucks as far as services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, iTunes etc. are considered.
Most check your IP, so it doesn't matter if you're actually American or not.

Re:No, they're not... (1)

rdnetto (955205) | more than 2 years ago | (#35983070)

Speaking as an Australian, they have. All the major channels allow you to stream shows from their websites within 1 week of them airing. As for the regional effect mentioned in another post, that seems very likely to me. Australia is often forgotten when it comes to licensing - most of the shows airing in the US only here after a year or so. And even then they mess around with the time slots, break up seasons etc. There's very little difference to a consumer between streaming a show from a website and torrenting it.

Star Trek Prophecy (2)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982208)

Star Trek:TNG - "The Neutral Zone"

SONNY Yeah, boob-tube... you know. I'd like to find out how the Braves are doin' after all this time. Probably still finding ways to lose.

DATA (to Riker) Oh -- I think he means television, sir.

SONNY Or maybe catch up on the soaps.

DATA (to Sonny) That particular form of entertainment did not last much beyond the year Two Thousand Forty.

Mainly to do with Australia (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35982268)

To put it in perspective, Australian TV has been racing to the bottom for as far back as I can remember. Basically we copy US (and often UK) shows with our own versions but with only half the budget and effort. If one station lands onto a 'hit', the other commercial stations will pour every spare cent into copying that concept themselves, so you end up with mulitple stations broadcasting the same show. Yet at the same time most of the acclaimed US/UK shows they get the rights to get buried on timeslots that have no real chance to get an audience (last I bothered to check stuff like 30 Rock runs at 11.30pm and I've never seen it advertised). Somewhere between laziness and fear-of-being-different Australian TV has snookered itself focussing mainly on the flash-in-the-pan stuff to get the viewers and hope that another concept will be ready to go before the audience hits their burnout on the last one.

And the money just isn't there either; any time an actor becomes successful enough they can start hitting their stride, it's their time to flee overseas - which they have to in order to get a decent paycheck and enough work to make a career. Our Govt run networks - the ABC (and as well SBS) - are the only ones starting to make significant strides out of them all (despite lousy funding, they're the ones with the best online pressence and producing the best local work).

People certainly are still watching TV, just not on a station anymore. Due to the crappy scheduling of popular shows the DVD market seems to be making a killing - just from talking to people over the years no-one wants to chase a show on the 10.30pm timeslot over the course of half a year ("Oh, it's a repeat tonight, would have been nice to know before it starts") they'll just wait and watch the DVD (buy it themselves, buy it overseas, or just borrow it from someone else in the same boat).

Re:Mainly to do with Australia (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982752)

you end up with mulitple stations broadcasting the same show

Yeah, last night the royal wedding was on almost every fucking station. I was going to watch the chaser's "uninformed and unconstitutional" coverage of it but then the royal family pulled the plug on their licence [abc.net.au].

poor content (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982304)

I'm sorry, but televisions content is just plain garbage. Each channel has, at most 2 good shows for the entire week. AMC seems to be the only channel putting out quality TV now... that should make the big name broadcasters ashamed of themselves. When I got to work people talk about Madmen, the walking dead, breaking bad... no one has any idea what's on CBS/NBC/ABC anymore because it's worthless trash. Usually if I accidentally switch to one of those networks for any period of time I'm so disgusted with whatever reality garbage they've throw on the screen I'm actually ashamed of the society I belong to.

Re:poor content (3, Interesting)

Tsu-na-mi (88576) | more than 2 years ago | (#35983046)

With you in spirit, but your statements are tinged with hyperbole. The major networks air more than 2 good shows a week, and more and more "cable channels" like AMC, USA, TNT, etc have begun airing some quality original programming. However, for every show like 30 Rock or The Closer, we get ten Real Worlds, Survivors, or Dancing with the Stars.

Premium channels have been booming with original content in recent years. Maybe it's just because I did not have access to them much before BT trackers and release groups got into them, but I think there are more original shows on HBO, Showtime, etc than there used to be. Sure, you had things like 1st and Ten, Dream On, and the Red Shoe Diaries on HBO and Showtime 15-25 years ago, but now you have so much more. A lot of great shows in recent times have come form these networks (Deadwood, Weeds, Dexter, The Sopranos), along with a great deal more entertaining ones (The Tudors, Rome, Secret Diary of a Call Girl (not original, I know)).

As someone else has stated, the real problem is that TV providers have made it an increasingly hostile environment to watch their content.
  - More commercial time per hour. The average 1-hour show is under 44 minutes now.
  - Channel identifier logos on constantly. In the beginning these were semi-transparent line-art, now they are colorful and often animated.
  - Squashed and sped-up credit sequences. Sure, few people want to see them, but sometimes we do, and without commercial/news at 10 hype
  - Pop-up in-show ads "New Episode of Dancing With the Stars NEXT" at the bottom of the screen, blocking this show
  - Time-shifting to screw up DVR users
  - Loudness tricks to make commercials seem louder than the show. Gotta crank up the movie because it's so quiet, then WHAM! "BUY ZEST SOAP!"
  - Constant schedule changes

I gave up cable TV about 8-9 years ago. I was heavy into anime at the time, had just moved, so I went with internet and substantial DVD purchases (back when DVDs were still $30 each, though you could get them for ~33-50% off online). I found out I just did not need to veg out in front of TV shows I didn;t care about every evening. I read more books, was online more, had other things to do.

It was liberating. ^_^

Myriad advantages of TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35982318)

So, it's video that you can't pause, rewind or fast forward. You can only watch it on certain kinds of not-very-portable devices. You can't choose when you get to watch what you want to watch. Periodically, whatever you're watching will be interrupted by some bullshit you don't want to watch (which, remember, you can't fast forward past). And you get to pay a monthly fee for the privilege of enjoying this wonderful new medium. Why would anybody be choosing not to watch television?

Re:Myriad advantages of TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35982406)

television is like the internet, except with only 200 sites to visit, and they're all crap.

TV is good for live (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35985436)

Anonymous Coward wrote:

So, it's video that you can't pause, rewind or fast forward.

TiVo DVRs can pause and rewind TV. As for fast forward, TV is good for the kind of thing that's impossible to fast forward because it's being broadcast within a minute after it happens: news and sports.

Just Another Screen (3, Insightful)

hovelander (250785) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982352)

Personally, I am going to blame the messenger, i.e. Nielsen. Shows that trend towards tech savvy types will always struggle and die if the only emphasis is going to be on boxes that measure appointment viewing. I don’t have a box, so I don’t matter. If I don’t matter, why subject myself to appointment viewing commercials ALONG with the obvious product placement?

If modern HD TVs are are just another computer screen, what is in store for appointment viewing as we undergo generational attrition?

For me, modern television is going through the same death spiral that modern commercial music is going through. My music interests have gone entirely independent of the big music labels because of the crap they pull and produce. The more they dumb down, the less of my attention they get. Viewing numbers will distribute across the hundreds of channels of reality programming and the few die hards will congregate around the few bright spots of fictional storytelling while they last. (You should prepare for vastly smaller seasons of shows, like the British models.)

I don’t matter, so why even try to make it through these endless show hiatuses that kill anything serialized? Why endlessly pine and dread if the uncounted just don’t matter?

Screw off Nielsen. Take your appointment viewing system and burn in hell for killing too many of my loved ones. I for one am finding it too painful to play with your stacked deck.

Re:Just Another Screen (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35985448)

If modern HD TVs are are just another computer screen

Modern HDTVs are potentially "just another computer screen", but the general public sees general-purpose computers and consumer electronics as two separate realms, as repeatedly pointed out by CronoCloud and other Slashdot commenters. In practice, modern HDTVs are consumer-electronics-appliance screens.

Live news and sports (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#35985480)

why even try to make it through these endless show hiatuses that kill anything serialized?

Game shows broadcast live, such as Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Hockey League, and National Basketball Association, draw appointment viewers despite their annual hiatuses.

fictional storytelling

I switched away from FOX News Channel because I was tired of the fictional storytelling, but political news shows like MSNBC's Morning Joe Brewed by Starbucks still draw viewers.

Re:Live news and sports (1)

hovelander (250785) | more than 2 years ago | (#35988968)

"Game shows broadcast live, such as Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Hockey League, and National Basketball Association, draw appointment viewers despite their annual hiatuses."

Very good point. Thanks for that perspective. Forgot about live events...

TV will continue to exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35982366)

but only in the internet

this whole thing is about online TV (winners) vs. offline TV (losers)

TV is also comparatively expensive nowadays. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35982400)

Our DirecTV bill is somewhere around $130/mo and that's not including any premium channels except starz. Why pay for satellite when I can just as easily watch it on the network's website for free with commercials, or pay less than $20/mo to watch it on Netflix commercial free? Plus I can pause/rewind them for free without having to pay extra for DVR service. Not to mention you can watch it whenever you want, which is a big deal nowadays.

On another note, those numbers can't be that accurate. A LOT of Americans will have the TV on while on the computer, cleaning, cooking, sleeping, or even not at home. I bet the number is a lot less for those that actually sit down and do nothing but watch TV.

If traditional television is dying it's because they have done next to nothing to innovate, and when they do they charge an arm and a leg for it. I really wish TV companies would just give up trying to provide the means of transportation (satellite/cable) and just team up with ISPs to offer fiber to the home... too bad that'll likely never happen. New companies will emerge and the old ones will just die.

Spock the profit (1)

dasherjan (1485895) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982484)

Holy cow does this mean that Spock's comment from ST-TOS will turn out to be true. "television-- That form of entertainment didn't last much past the mid 21'st century". :)

Perfectly normal response expected (1)

johncandale (1430587) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982502)

I bet they lobby government to ban network bandwidth and then argue that they are entitled to a profit. In fantasy land, all TV's going forward should be net-linked and ALL cableTV lines across the country converted to extra internet bandwidth. Also after they collapse anyways, I bet they demand a bailout.

Oz TV Sucks is why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35982532)

They fail to mention that TV here in Australia sucks real bad. It is so far behind the rest of the world.

Don't fight back, don't get up. (1)

amanicdroid (1822516) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982558)

shush shush
go to sleep now
you messed up the news and created predictable, pathetic, mind-numb, formulaic content bereft of artistic value
but that's okay. you didn't have much choice on that silly broadcast-only medium
now it's time to rest. stop squirming in your box
shush, shush
go to sleep

Individual channels... (1)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982572)

If I could buy the 5 channels we watched for a reasonable price I'd bite. But we don't watch enough TV to justify the $60 a month they want for them. And they only put those 5 channels in the upper packages, not the cheap ones. 2-3 years cable free, not missing it that much.

Re:Individual channels... (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#35983222)

Record companies do the same thing.

When they have a monopoly on the pieces that they put together, they usually use the good stuff as bait to force you to swallow the other stuff with it.

Going ala-carte lets you be too picky for their pocketbook.

"struggling to fight back" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35982626)

Yes, that's the problem, fighting back. If they had any sense, they would be one of these strange new media beasts who are talking all the limelight, (and money).

The problem is scheduled programming. (1)

Raffix (1875856) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982692)

Aside from the repeated advertisements and the poor quality of basic cable shows, the main reason i don't watch TV is because i don't get to watch my shows and series i like whenever i want. By having Netflix, Hulu or some sort of DVR system to record shows, we can watch what we want when we want. Some TV station offers some shows online after its been aired, but again the choices of shows is very limited. Add to this the control over time consuming commercials, interactivity, live chats, and all that the internet can offer and there's very little reason to pay for both a TV cable service and an Internet Service Provider. Another argument against Cable TV is the lack of objectivity some news channel have; We are now in the era of bloggers, tweets and independent journalism. People want to retake control of their sources of entertainment and information.

Well, lets see what is on TV shall we? (2, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#35982994)

The BBC, yesterday. One side showing "the wedding". The only way I watch that if they made it interactive and I could enact my republican fantasies. Once thing about the French, they know how to deal with royalty. Russians too. Nice job guys, want to helps the rest of the world out?

The other side, snooker. The most boring thing ever to be televised apart from hurdling. That is it! On a friday! Prime time TV? Must watch TV? Not on the beeb.

Have I Got News For You is still funny although this weeks episode seems to have been cancelled and the previous one was more about "The wedding" then the middle east being on fire. Gosh they have plenty to say if Israel defends itself by killing a single muslim in a week but if muslims kill hundreds of muslims that is apparently not fit to discuss in a satirical news program. Am I so wrong in finding it all funny?

The rest of the time, cooking shows. Now don't get me wrong. I like food and I am actually quite good as a cook but how many master chefs can one stomach? According to the BBC dual and even triple episodes in a row.

Okay, so to discovery, geographic channel and animal planet. If anyone in America is bored, then you please go and shoot that mexican dog licker? My god that show is on 24/7. If I want to train a bad dog I kill its owner, then eat the dog. Just because a single program does well does NOT make it a good idea to replace your entire schedule with it. Diversity, it is the spice of live. For instance I would like some cat sprinkled on my chow.

Discovery? Come on, Cake Boss? Are you serious? And you thought American Chopper was gaying it up as much as possible. (come on and entire show with butch men in leather making shiny stuff). I get tired of the same formula. "Oh shit, we are running out of time, yet again, we do so every single time but never learn to start a bike, cake build a tiny bit earlier because thatwould deprive us of fake tension only the most gullible would believe". Even if some of the programs are interesting, the commercials kill it. Not just to long, to loud and to stupid, they repeat the same ones over and over in the same show AND then run ads for the very show I am trying to watch. That is like ordering a burger and then being told about that very burger instead of serving it.

Comedy Central? Thank you, I seen the Simpsons a dozen times over and Family Guy and such are simply not funny to anyone who isn't 12.

There is simply nothing to watch. Now I don't hate TV, I am as ready as the next guy to sit in front of the idiot tube after a day at work and let my mind rot. I like it, just there is absolutely nothing on or if it is it gets interrupted by a 5 minute commercial block. That causes me to look away and when I look back, the NEXT commercial block is on.

Instead, I simply download the few things I want to see (since I am in europe often the entire season is available already by the time I hear about it) and watch them in HD with no commercials blocks and no re-scheduling because some jack-booting asshole wants to get married to a slut.

TV has a problem. People like mindless entertainment but for millenia they had to create it themselves. Once every household had a musical instrument because that was the only thing to do at in the evening hours. Theathers were everywhere filled with crap actors for when people got fed up with the same song every day. Then movies came and made entertainment for the masses for the first time. TV made it even easier, just pump a production straight into everyones home. The perfect way to spend those hours between work and going to bed. Don't deny it and claim you read a book, statistics prove you didn't.

But that was in the days when we had no choice. Either you watched it on the TV stations terms or you didn't. And because they controlled us (don't deny it, I seen the empty streets when something special happened in TV land) they thought they would always control us and added longer and longer commericial blocks, now even showing ads over the programs themselves. And can the station logo's grow any larger and more annoying?

The internet however gave control back to us. Suddenly you don't have to stay home to find out what happens on friends. And there is another idiot box luring you away during yet another endless commercial block and when you are blogging or facebook or twittering for those 5 minutes, why not stay for 10, 15, 20 and oops the tv program is over and you no longer care.

The idiot box is dead, long live the idiot box!

TV could recover but it needs to totally overhaul the way it works. Ad blocks should be reduced to a minimum. That way they become effective again and you can charge a premium for it and get the quality ads. Stop going after the small spenders, target the big ones.

TV stations need to profile themselves so that I know roughly what I can expect AND always be served. Friday? Comedy night. So those who like comedy, can watch it on Friday and not suddenly find a cooking show. Sports? Banned to sports channels. Really, what idiot thinks it is a good idea to upset all your regular viewers by rescheduling everything for a sport only a view watch?

No overloading on a hot show. Just because a dog show runs well does not mean you saturate everything with dog shows ESPECIALLY not the same one.

For now, the internet still can't deliver TV the same way TV can. Most people just don't have fast enough internet. TV also can expose people to other things they might like more easily (how much of the internet do you actually visit now the days of random browsing are over). But it got to give up this idea we are a captive audience. I at least am not anymore. Not because I hate TV but because even my must for brains can only stand so much.

Enough! Bittorrent give me my daily mind rot!

Re:Well, lets see what is on TV shall we? (1)

Xtravar (725372) | more than 2 years ago | (#35983056)

Well that was some amusing rambling. I take it you were drinking tonight.

I guess I agree, except for the family guy jab.

Re:Well, lets see what is on TV shall we? (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#35985380)

Have either of you considered going outside? Maybe just for a bit?

Re:Well, lets see what is on TV shall we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35985608)

I have. Dont like it. There is nothing down there for me.

Re:Well, lets see what is on TV shall we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35985042)

a sport only a few [ftfy] watch

I wish it worked that way, or that live streaming of games was more common - some of the teams I follow, I can't even find a damn radio broadcast of. I'm a freetard and a pirate, but I'd be willing to pay a subscription fee for a reliable, DRM-free, high resolution (480p and 720p options) streaming service for live games. If the sports leagues started doing this well (NOT the travesty that is mlb.tv), I bet you'd see a sharp decline in cable and satellite TV subscriptions.

Re:Well, lets see what is on TV shall we? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35989590)

I gave that as much thought as you did, but I will just say that the BBC forces you to pay for it; it can have you committed to prison, lose your job, lose your liberty, whole nine etc if you don't pay for it, whether you watch it or not, and it has had, in the past twenty years, exactly two successes; one a rehash of a 1963 children's programme, and strictly come dancing, a dumbed down reboot of a programme from the 1940s. The BBC is dead, and with it the model of top down, supply led provision it's built on. If you offer people choice they'll choose, and they ain't choosing broadcast tv. We're moving to a new model of demand driven entertainment more analogous to live entertainment. In the meantime I look at Pioneer One, demand driven, funded directly by the viewers, and I say that's the way forward.

Maybe if TV didnt suck so much... (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 2 years ago | (#35983426)

Aussie FTA TV has far too much junk on it these days.
We get old shows that have been aired so many times the tapes have worn out (Bewitched, I Dream Of Jeanie, The Flintstones, JAG, McGuiver, Everybody Loves Raymond, Cheers, The Brady Bunch, Seinfeld, MASH, The Nanny, 2&1/2 men and others) and worse still they play the same subset of the series over and over and over again instead of playing all the episodes that exist.

We get crappy reality TV like Farmer Wants A Wife, Masterchef, Junior Masterchef, So You Think You Can Dance, Next Top Model, Survivor, Australia's Got Talent, My Kitchen Rules, Dancing With The Stars, The Block and The Biggest Looser.

We get so-called "morning shows" that are basically just vehicles to run large numbers of infomercials for useless overpriced crap. (anyone who thinks they can get fit or "loose those love handles" by spending 5 minutes a day going around in circles on the "Ab Circle Pro" needs their head examined)

Where we DO get new shows, they are usually aired 6 months behind the rest of the world. Or where they DO "fast track" them and they start playing them soon after the US, they get axed after a few episodes or something comes up (school holidays, long weekend, Easter, sport on the same channel, sport on another channel, a special event or some other lame excuse) and it gets delayed a week or 2 and eventually its months behind again.

Radio is complaining too... (1)

qazwsx (78379) | more than 2 years ago | (#35983708)

"A radio executive told a major conference that radio audiences are slipping away into TV. Soap operas and recent news footage are taking the traditional radio audience and radio is struggling to fight back."

Re:Radio is complaining too... (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 2 years ago | (#35983860)

Radio's been effectively dead ever since these guys [clearchannel.com] took ownership of the whole damn market back in the mid to late 1990s. As a result, most stations in the country have become watered-down corporate crap that repeats the same top 40 playlist several times per day with little attempt to try and innovate. Satellite radio is trying to get some of these listeners back, but a lot of people just gave up and went to their iPods, where they have full control over their own music.

Good. (1)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 2 years ago | (#35983998)

Network TV can die in a fire. Even the vanishingly small number of decent shows (I could count the number on one hand after a brutal industrial accident) consist of 30% commercial time. And the fire network TV dies in can be stoked by the former network executives.

Speaking of ads, TFA has a large intrusive bold text ad right in the middle of the story, which means I'll soon be getting my FAs here like everyone else: secondhand hearsay.

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35984184)

I haven't watched very much TV for years now, and anything I watch on a television screen tends to be from Netflix.

Well earlier (1)

umask077 (122989) | more than 2 years ago | (#35986146)

Earlier we had an article here about the closing of the last typewritter factor. Some techs are just obsolete and need to be phased out. TV seems to be one of them. They are idiots of course in the entertain industry as we all know and will hang on by their teeth if they must as long as they can. Eventually we will close the door on the last TV manufacturing department in the world, and even then, they will still fight to survive. TV is dead because it failed to meet the needs of the people. Programming is completely rehashed over an over again. You can only tell the story of "boy meets girl" so many times before it become monotonous and people stop paying attention. TV plots are shallow and seldom draw people in. Youtube and Netflix offer the user variety they can select from that no TV broadcaster can compete with. An attempt was made by Thompson Sun Interactive in the 90's to add a level of interactivity to satellite and cable boxes but no one adopted it. Its this fear of change that will kill them, just as its doing to the movie and music industries.

TV is boring, and expensive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35986988)

You might want to work on that

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