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Online Video Begins To Threatens Television

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the watching-a-different-box dept.

Television 188

eldavojohn writes, "The BBC has an article reporting that a survey of 2,070 Britons revealed that online viewing is on the rise against television. From the article: 'Some 43% of Britons who watch video from the internet or on a mobile device at least once a week said they watched less normal TV as a result.' The figures the BBC is reporting are up from last year when they ran the same survey. It seems the digital world has disintermediated Magazines, Music, & Newspapers but somehow never really tapped books. Will the internet also take on the role as the family television?"

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Isolation on the rise too (3, Interesting)

suso (153703) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004340)

I think that as online TV becomes more popular, people will isolate themselves more and more from a shared experience. So people will end up having even more polarized views of things.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (4, Insightful)

grapeape (137008) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004482)

For many watching online is more of a shared experience. How many families really sit down and watch programs together and when they do, how many actually communicate during them. Many of the media sites offering video content have chatrooms, forums, and other collaborative places that are the online equivalent of talking around the water cooler. So yep gone are the days of dad yelling at Jr. to shut up because the fishing show is on, now dad can watch outdoor sportsman and talk to others that like the same thing.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (3, Insightful)

Nos. (179609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004586)

I was going to post something similar, but one other thing that is beneficial when visiting an online forum, is that you get a broader view of things. Depending on the subject it could even be a more worldly view than you could ever get, even watching the show in a public place like a bar. So, in some ways, yes it is less social, but at the same time, it can expand your view more than has been happening before.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (0)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004798)

Trouble is, when I think of viewing tv online, the first picture in my head, is someone huddled at a desk, near a 17" or smaller monitor.

Why would you want to do that with a comfy living room/bedroom, which a much larger screen? I don't really care to watch anything on a size smaller than 30-60".

Now, in my case...I do watch most of my stuff from a computer, but, it is a MythTV box...and it is going through a projector that due to temporary apt. sized limitations (on the run since Katrina), I have about an 84" picture.

But in the case of most of these type of articles..I get the image of people at a desk with a desktop or laptop screen in front of them....or even a cell phone, and that just isn't comfortable IMHO. Until they start making it easy for Joe Average to pipe Internet based content to the big LCD or Plasma they're been fighting for on black friday for Xmas...I don't see internet streamed content displacing regular, cable or satellite tv.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005042)

See that DVI, HDMI, or SVideo port on the back of your computer? See that DVI, HDMI, or SVideo port on the side of your new TV? Got any bright ideas? ;)

Re:Isolation on the rise too (2, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005434)

Until they start making it easy for Joe Average to pipe Internet based content to the big LCD or Plasma they're been fighting for on black friday for Xmas...I don't see internet streamed content displacing regular, cable or satellite tv.
Coming Soon via Your TiVo: Internet Video on Television [nytimes.com] . And you can bet the Internet/Cable TV companies like Comcast won't be far behind.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (2)

Lostconfused (1019042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004638)

But that was the entire point of the parent. The person isolates oneself from outside views or opinions, well its not that drastic but the opinions are very likely to be similar in those chat rooms and forums, if they aren't people would most likely move to some other place thats more agreeable to them. So yeah people are still isolated from different opinions and different points of view

Re:Isolation on the rise too (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17005280)

Maaan, I really wish for the good-ol days, where there was mass media, and mass brainwashing for all.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (2)

deathy_epl+ccs (896747) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005342)

the opinions are very likely to be similar in those chat rooms and forums, if they aren't people would most likely move to some other place thats more agreeable to them. So yeah people are still isolated from different opinions and different points of view

heh. Yeah, 'cause we've never seen a flamewar errupt on a forum before. heheheheh.

To the outside world, the Slashdot users appear to have very similar opinions too.

1. Make inflammatory remark.
2. Take part in erruping flamewar.
3. ???
4. Profit!

Re:Isolation on the rise too (4, Interesting)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005474)

since starting to watch online content I've found that my friends and I talk far more about video content then we ever did about tv. Links to cool new things get bandied about, and there's a constant hunt to find the next cool thing to share.

Redvsblue is my current favorite for quality comedy online.This was found not through brainless channel surfing, but via a conversation with a friend.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (3, Informative)

Mad Dog Manley (93208) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005246)

For many watching online is more of a shared experience.

Not only is it shared because of online forums, chatrooms, etc, but how many times have a friend or relative sent you a video clip from Youtube or some other site, something funny or interesting or a good TV show that interested both of you? The comments and thoughts and shared experience is real - albeit a very 21st century experience - and will probably only grow in the future, as video allows more thoughts to be expressed without words.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (1)

HolyCrapSCOsux (700114) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005832)

So... Does anyone make a small USB powered Watercooler?

Re:Isolation on the rise too (5, Interesting)

CarlJagt (877688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004536)

as online TV becomes more popular, people will isolate themselves more and more from a shared experience

Instead, I'd say that as online TV becomes more popular, people will timeshift their viewing more and more. This does not eliminate a shared experience altogether, but it does stretch it thinner. But to the point of isolation? Naw. A good series remains a good series, and word will travel.

In fact, I find it refreshing that, at our watercooler, co-workers introduce each other to new shows, as well as help filter out the crud. Instead of a dozen people investing 12 man-hours to all learn that the Such-and-Such show blows ... the investment was perhaps one or two.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (2, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005836)

Mod parent up. The real danger to old school tv channels isn't where you can get content, but when. I'm currently using Bittorrent a shedload simply to be able to watch the 5 or 6 tv shows I'm interested in without having to contort my life around somebody else's schedule. Once the general perception shifts from "gotta get home, Lost is on soon", to "I'll download it this weekend/I'll wait for the DVD", TV networks as we know them are dead.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17004562)


I think that as online TV becomes more popular, people will isolate themselves more and more from a shared experience. So people will end up having even more polarized views of things.


WTF???

Broadcast/cable television represents a "shared experience" that is threatened by online TV? I didn't realize that I was feeding my "polarized view of things" when I gave "Surviver XXI: Even Stupider" a pass.

If you want to make an argument that sitting at home and being fed pap from a tube (TV or computer) is isolating, I'd buy that. But to suggest that somehow IPTV is worse than what we have now is absurd.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (1, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004660)

I think that as online TV becomes more popular, people will isolate themselves more and more from a shared experience.

But what is the value of a shared TV viewing experience? A whole family sitting in one room, staring at the same box, that's a shared experience? Sure, in much the same way that sleeping in the same house is a shared experience.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (4, Insightful)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005154)

no, it's more like sharing a meal. We don't watch much TV, but when we do, we do it together. We usually watch DVD, talk while watching, hit rewind if we manage to miss something, etc. It's not exactly educational talk, but fun talk, our own commentary, etc. It's frequently more interesting than the "How was your day?" stuff at the table. Kids talk more when they have something interesting to talk about.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005286)

no, it's more like sharing a meal. We don't watch much TV, but when we do, we do it together. We usually watch DVD, talk while watching, hit rewind if we manage to miss something, etc.

But that was my whole point. You can do that with a PVR, or a movie on disc, but outside of having additional equipment, broadcast TV doesn't allow you to do that. It's a purely push-technology model and you need to be there while the information comes in.

If you DO have additional equipment, like a PVR, you would be better served by having a nice fat IP connection, and a box that downloads what you want to watch as network traffic allows, and you can watch it later. Well, you'd be better served in a world in which someone would provide you content that way. I mean, besides our good friends who run bittorrent trackers.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (1)

indian_rediff (166093) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005242)

I can only speak for myself. I do timeshift TV programmes. However most of them are PBS style programmes (NOVA, Nature, American Experience etc.) And when it comes to viewing the saved programmes, I use by Dishnetwork DVR and wath it with my kids. Sometimes my wife joins in. The great thing about the timeshifting via DVR is that I get to pause the programme to insert interesting comments, or pause it to answer questions from my kids. All in all, a great time is had by all! And the best thing is, I don't have to wait for the programme. I can watch it whenever all of us have spare time.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005378)

I think the point was about nationally shared experience, not family relations. It used to be that everybody (mild overstatement) watched the networks' evening news. That determined whatever the big story was at any given point in time. Of course, that could just as easily be put in a negative light, since hardly anybody else but the big boys had a voice at all. Either way, it will be interesting to see whether fragmentation of the media has a noticeable effect.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005544)

You're making me feel like I have a VERY weird family. We get together (even though we live in 3 seperate houses) and watch Survivor each week. With each new event, we discuss, berate, belittle, etc. We get more out of the show from watching it together than we do when we each watch it seperately. (I was sick last Thurs, and we didn't get together. I ended up fast-forwarding through most of the talk.)

My Mom was coming over or 1 Vs 100, also, before it went off-air. (I hope they bring it back.) We used to watch Deal or No Deal (Dad and I) and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (all of us), too.

Some shows are just a lot more enjoyable with a group.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005630)

It depends on the group but a lot of people - myself included - want people to STFU during the show. You can talk during commercials. I've never owned a PVR, which would help a lot... but these days my solution is that I really don't watch broadcast anything. I download, I rent. I avoid commercials and I can pause whenever I like. If I want to watch it somewhere else I can take it there. Life is good. PVRs are the only thing that make broadcast TV tolerable, because I am not willing to subordinate myself to the idiot box.

Freedom is on the rise Re:Isolation on the rise (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004708)

I'm all for not having the same outlook as corprat media wants me to have. Freedom is on the rise and this terrifies the elite.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (1)

icecow (764255) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004780)

I disagree.

People are polarized because TV chooses the issues and topics; people take sides on the topics and are polarized on a national level.

Media on the internet is decentralized. People will revolve more around the issues and topics that are important to them and less so about abortion and other TV injected issues.

So there will be many people talking about many subjects. If someone is talking about a issue you aren't interested in it will be easier to simply ignore the issue instead of taking an agreeable or opposing view.

I don't think your use if 'isolated' fits here because people will be able to associate with who they want.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (2, Interesting)

avasol (904335) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005086)

I think this is an absolutely ludicrous idea you're proposing, especially coming from a /.er.
Look around you. And if you think Slashdot polarizes these people, you're right. In a _positive_ way. Becoming more opinionated is good for you, I promise. To choose wisely based upon a wider perspective, is also right.

In fact. What the hell are you saying?

Re:Isolation on the rise too (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005130)

I think that as online TV becomes more popular, people will isolate themselves more and more from a shared experience. So people will end up having even more polarized views of things.

I've seen the reverse trend.

Videos online or on our DVR can be paused or rewinded - even when watching something that's not pre-recorded! So if somebody speaks up during the show, it's no big deal to pause it, talk about it, and then continue, or even rewind to pick up a detail that was missed.

This makes watching videos a la YouTube or DVR much more social than ever before.

It *can* be much less social, but that's been the case since VHS vs Betamax was a big deal, and people haven't become significantly less social that I can tell.

Re:Isolation on the rise too (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005312)

I think it will take a while for internet to replace TV, but when it does I do not think that there will be much difference in the amount of isolation that will occur.

Think about it: if families current sit down around the TV to watch their favorite program, will replacing the TV with a Media Center and a LCD screen do anything different to this experience? If it does, how could it hamper it? Why would replacing the medium change the way that the content is viewed and perceived?

Furthermore, do you think that mobile phones are a viable way of viewing your favorite program around your house? Or would increasing the size of the screen of a mobile phone or device make it impractical for mobile situations?

I think that regardless of the way television and digital media evolves, the "quality" time that is shared through the experience is not dependent on the medium in which that is delivered. But as I said earlier, computers would have to be a lot more reliable and convenient before this happens. Windows Vista was supposed to help this by decreasing the boot/resume time to those comparable with CRT TVs, but as far I can see, this has not happened.

Is it online video or internet in general? (5, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004386)

I see it as more people having "something" to do with their time than specifically crappy videos.

Perhaps the survey questions weren't correct.

Most people who spend time online have a community - some have slash others have flickr, theres some on youtube and loads in numerous other communities.

TV cannot give the level of participation the web does.

Re:Is it online video or internet in general? (2, Interesting)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005468)

I see it as more people having "something" to do with their time

A lovely young lady of my acquaintence is one hell of a little piano player.

She grew up in one of those little dying dipshit towns out in the boonies with two diners; and one of them is boarded up.

She told me that she learned to play the piano just to have "something" to do with her time. It's now her life and her career.

Think about it.

KFG

Internet in general (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17005848)

It's ALREADY been shown that as internet use has gone up, television viewing has gone down. Why this is news or why online video is being singled out, is beyond me.

And what is the big deal? (2)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004398)

My flatscreen has a pc input...
Just a different source for video feeds...
current content providers will adapt...

News at 11

Disintermediated (4, Funny)

Tx (96709) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004402)

You've just been looking for an excuse to use that word in an article, haven't you?

Re:Disintermediated (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004580)

No! Noooo! Aaaugh! No! I'll get you the damned shrubbery, just make it stop!

KFG

Re:Disintermediated (4, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004602)

Disintermediated
It's a pretty scary word, too. If we break it down, we see that it is a compound word derived from disinter- (to dig up a corpse) and -mediate (to intercede). Therefore, it's obvious that the digital world is a broker of graverobbing services, not a supplier of porn as commonly assumed.

Re:Disintermediated (2, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004952)

Therefore, it's obvious that the digital world is a broker of graverobbing services, not a supplier of porn as commonly assumed.

Among some circles, those are one and the same.

Is this a surprise? (3, Interesting)

grapeape (137008) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004406)

I would imagine that if they looked they would find that Internet Users on a whole watch less TV. Why just sit there when you can do something interactive. I watch video's online but usually they are shoved up in the corner of the screen while im doing something else more productive. I dont really see this as a bad thing, the major US networks are already catching on and are offering much of their programming online.

Isn't this exactly what has to happen for the mythical media/computer convergence to happen that everyone has harped on for the past 15 years? Its survival of the fittest, adapt or die, all media companies have to come to that reality whether is music, movies television, radio, newspapers or even books.

Re:Is this a surprise? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004724)

. . .even books.

Music, video and still art are over there.

Books are right here.

KFG

Re:Is this a surprise? (1)

fair_n_hite_451 (712393) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005776)

It actually is a surprise to me, based on logistics. In front of my computer, I have a good upright office chair as befits what I do there - type, mouse, interact with the screen.
 
In front of my TV I have a mega-comfy lay-z-boy recliner that fits what I do there - interact as little as possible and just veg.
 
I can't imagine switching chairs, nor doing the right activity for the viewed device from the wrong chair.
 
Until I find something reasonable that is both office chair and recliner I can't see replacing my TV viewing with PC viewing ... no matter how convenient the downloading is.

Yes.... (1)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004412)

...and here is why: Freedom of choice, competition, and expression. If someone cobbles together a good story, and a budget, I don't see why is isn't possible to launch an internet-based "cable television network" that reaches across borders, and is safely tucked away from the likes of broadcast networks (clearchannel and company), the Bush regime, and the FCC. It could be cheaper, and shows that die on Fox (Ahem! Serenity!) would live forever

This is surprising? (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004418)

We live in a world that is no longer as 9 to 5 as it once was (more like 24/7 in three shifts), and people are surprised that television viewers would rather decouple their viewing from "Prime Time Weeknights"? I'm not surprised at all. DVDs laid the groundwork for viewers watching the television they want when they want. Then shows like 24 and Lost further laid the groundwork for story arcs that take advantage of that medium. (i.e. Can't keep with Jack every week? Keep up with him on DVD!)

Now the Internet is threatening to combine the convenience and timeliness of broadcast TV with the time shifting and long-term storage capabilities of DVDs. The result can only be a positive change in the way we view entertainment.

Re:This is surprising? (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004804)

. . .more like 24/7 in three shifts

Three shifts? I wish. The great thing about working on the Internet is that someone, somewhere in the world, thinks I've just come back from lunch no matter what time it is here.

The great thing about working from home is that you get to choose which 168 hours a week you're going to work.

KFG

Problem or Opportunity? (4, Interesting)

Kombat (93720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004446)

Anyone want to lay odds regarding whether the TV networks will view this as a problem or an opportunity? Of course, they'll see it as a problem that must be "solved," rather than an opportunity to be seized. There is so much money to be made here for innovative and visionary content providers, so much cross-promotion and integration they could take advantage of, and yet you just know the "old guard" will fight tooth and nail to keep the status quo, even as their marketshare/revenues decline over the upcoming years.

It's sad, really. I would have hoped that the "younger" networks like MTV and Spike would have jumped aboard and shown the path, but the only network I can think of who has even remotely embraced the dual-delivery model of TV and online media is the Comedy Network/Comedy Central.

Re:Problem or Opportunity? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004730)

It's sad, really. I would have hoped that the "younger" networks like MTV and Spike would have jumped aboard and shown the path

MTV is owned by Viacom. Spike is owned by MTV, which, again, is owned by Viacom. Amusingly enough, Comedy Central is also owned by MTV/Viacom.

Clearly, Viacom is aware of digital distribution; they likely feel that only Comedy Central is currently capable of providing them monetary benefit. Or, maybe it's just that even MTV's original content uses a lot of content that they don't own, and they can't even do digital distribution because they don't have the rights. Comedy Central produces original programming, which is pretty much what they're internet-distributing (besides South Park material, but Stone and Parker are pretty modern guys.)

Re:Problem or Opportunity? (1)

FullMetalJester (887382) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005098)

ever heard of MTV Overdrive? MTV has tie-ins and special extras that are available from their website only. Instead of using the web as a new distribution medium they are likely looking to increase advertising revenue of specific demographics (ie the people that watch the show are the most likely to view the website for that show, giving the advertisers another shot at their target market) Apparently Viacom thinks they can make more money this way, at least in the short term

Re:Problem or Opportunity? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005232)

ever heard of MTV Overdrive?

Fuck no. MTV may be extremely relevant in today's culture but they have little to nothing that I want to watch any more. Let me know when we get a set of channels that have nothing but videos all the time, kind of like DMX with a video stream.

But anyway, what you say only makes sense. At some point however, all broadcast TV is going to go away. Might be a hundred years from now but broadcast TV is stupid and pointless in its current form. It makes more sense for it to all be satellite-based. I live in a county where you can't get any broadcast TV because of the mountains, but almost anywhere (except possibly where I live now due to trees I can't cut down) you can get satellite.

And eventually one day it will all be mesh networking and then it will all be carried over IP networks and there will be little reason to use satellite. But that might be even further out. Still, it's the only thing that makes sense unless we come up with a whole new communications technology that trumps radio. Practical quantum entanglement anyone?

xbox (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005376)

The xbox 360 now has a spke TV show (reality show relating to video games) available for doenload ...not quite the internet, but close.

Re:Problem or Opportunity? (1)

SirKron (112214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005534)

Companies like Time Warner and ATT are already taking advantage of this by offering on-demand broadcasting. If you can get it anytime you want, then you do not need to record the live show right? That is what they want you to believe as on-demand shows will not allow you to fast forward through commercials. They also push viewers to their web portals to drive more advertising revenue.

The media conglomerates will do whatever they can to keep the commercials in our view. If they cannot, then we will be paying extra somewhere to cover their costs.

Logical step (2, Interesting)

Damastus the WizLiz (935648) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004460)

This is a logical step really. people will move to online viewing because it offers them the choice of what to watch and when to watch it that fits around their schedual. I think if networks put up their shows for people to watch at any time on the internet with commercials people would watch it with commercials just to be able to watch their favorite shows when they want to not when the network scheduals it.

Schedual? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17005690)

I guess when you schedule something twice it becomes a schedual (sched-dual).

It's obvious (4, Interesting)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004476)

Why do we prefer online video over television? Doy! No advertisements!

Magazines and newspapers have non-obtrusive ads that can just be flipped immediately. TV ads must be watched or channel-flipped with the risk of missing content. Most internet video has ads on the site, not in the video.

I can't wait until TV networks get smart enough to put a Pepsi ad in the corner of the screen and allow "TV pirates" to spread the show on the internet. The network is off the hook for the piracy because it's out of their hands, Pepsi gets advertised all over the world, and the audience gladly puts up with the ad being onscreen because it doesn't interrupt the show.

Re:It's obvious (2, Informative)

Mad Dog Manley (93208) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004794)

The smart tv networks are joining the rush to online video, e.g. CBS. Their television shows are receiving some of the highest views on Youtube. (3 of the 25 highest viewed clips last week were from CBS shows)

Also good to note is the National Hockey League - they offer full hockey games on Google Video 48 hours after they are aired, and allow video clips on Youtube 24 hours after the games are aired. They are the only major North American sports league to do so.

Message to content producers and distributers - get with the program, or be left in the cold!

Re:It's obvious (1)

GoatMonkey2112 (875417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004944)

Don't give them any ideas. I would bet that as HDTV equipment becomes cheaper and everything is broadcast in HD you will start to see your old standard def shows appearing with some extra crap in the sidebars.

Re:It's obvious (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005200)

Make no mistake, when (not if) the networks put 24/7 ads in the corners they will compete to find the most annoying thing that doesn't scare away viewers. Expect the infancy of this experiment to be the most obnoxious.

Re:It's obvious (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004948)

The BBC doesn't run ads.

Re:It's obvious (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005250)

BBC is publicly funded and not for profit so they don't count.

Re:It's obvious (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005322)

Yes it does - but only for itself.

Re:It's obvious (4, Insightful)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005022)

the audience gladly puts up with the ad being onscreen because it doesn't interrupt the show.

Not an interruption?

Do you also believe [ How much ladies will love your new ROCK hard action!! [icos.com] Advertisement] that onscreen ads on the internet aren't intrusive? I'd be willing to [ Approve you for best mortgage at prime minus 4%!! Pay nothing! [federalreserve.gov] Advertisement] bet that most people don't share that view. Certainly, I can live without [ hottest mover & shaker stocks - investors shouldn't miss out [nyse.com] Advertisement] them, and sometimes they're not terribly intrusive, but they are still interruptions.

I always liked the way that ZDF in Germany did it. They had a block of time each night were only ads were shown and the ads were interrupted by short 5- to 15-second animated shorts to get the kids to watch. As they wanted people to actually tune in, most of the ads were of Super Bowl ingenuity: actually fun to watch. I believe some of the American HD networks do something like this currently.

Re:It's obvious (1)

Bauguss (62171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005118)

Well, I was just viewing Daily Show clips last night online. They impose a commercial after every 2 clips OR pre-clip after you click a video clip link.

I didn't mind the ads because I could watch the clips I wanted when I wanted. I like the Daily Shows view on things but I don't watch much TV.

I really don't care about ads. All I want is to be able to watch things when I want.

Re:It's obvious (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005188)

I don't think the advertising aspect is the "obvious" answer. The obvious answer is that internet video is a lot more convenient. I don't have to wait for Jon Stewart to come on at 8pm, and then watch 20 minutes of the rest of the show so that I could see the only segment I like. I could just go on YouTube, do a search, and watch those 5 minutes. There are also things I've watched on YouTube that I would never see on regular tv these days - such as clips from long cancelled shows. The obvious reason that internet video is taking regular television's place is that internet video gives people what they want and when they want it.

One can't help but wonder.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17004494)

...how much of the online video the respondents were referring to was pr0n.

The problem with Digital Books... (1)

bigjarom (950328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004546)

I haven't read a paper book in nearly 3 years. Nearly everything I've wanted to read is available in digital form somehow. The problem with ebooks is a lack of really good hardware. I use a Palm to read ebooks, but traditional PDAs are rapidly declining as we know. The iPod doesn't have a big enough screen to read comfortably, and most phones have the same problem. Nobody wants to buy a dedicated ebook reader either because that is too great an expense for too limited a function. I'm gonna continue to stick with it though and hopefully someone will come up with a mass-appeal solution in the near future.

DVD books.. (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005326)

"I haven't read a paper book in nearly 3 years. Nearly everything I've wanted to read is available in digital form somehow"

Do you know if there is some sort of text format for DVDs? Or a utility to convert text or PDF into a DVD file so one of those little LCD DVD players could be used for ebooks? Been looking for something like that...

Sure it is. (3, Interesting)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004606)

My PC plays DVDs, downloads from torrents and Usenet (shh!) and legit online streams (bless you Adult Swim!) [adultswim.com] My PC plays all the PC games and classic console ROMs I need it to. When I have a video card with the proper inputs, the PC displays my real game consoles as well. My last actual television died about four years ago, and I really never found a reason to replace it.

To be fair I'm not much of a fan of modern mainstream television, and the only two series (not counting Adult Swim) I really follow are British ones I can only torrent in until the DVDs make it here to the States, but with mainstream stuff like NBC's "Heroes" following the legit streaming model I can see standard televsions becoming an endangered species fairly soon.

Many areas currently plan to ditch plain old analog broadcasts in favor of digital, and I imagine that signal is really easy to plug into an Internet server rather than a cable company. I'd love to see a cost comparison of what it costs the networks to stream online versus broadcasting on the dwindling airwaves.

Not a family thing (1)

sitturat (550687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004616)

A family cannot really huddle around the PC to watch stuff on YouTube, but I think individuals are definitely spending more time on the internet in general (not just TV, also forums etc.) and therefore less time in front of the TV. That's a good thing - the web is so much more interactive.

Re:Not a family thing (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004760)

A family cannot really huddle around the PC to watch stuff on YouTube
Why not? It's trivial to set up S-video out to a TV instead of your desk monitor. As people become more accustomed to getting their entertainment content from their computer instead of from their broadcast/cable/satellite companies, more family rooms will be designed to accomodate this.

I regularly string a bunch of funny or otherwise stimulating clips together for the wife and I to enjoy on the big screen in the living room. Or a bunch of sports highlights for the guys... we'll put them on in the background on poker night.

Re:Not a family thing (1)

sitturat (550687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005508)

Sure, you can huddle around a screen that is getting its signal from your computer, but that is exactly the same as watching boring old TV. What you cannot do is share the keyboard/mouse that allows you to interact with the system - finding videos on YouTube for example.

Re:Not a family thing (1)

Damastus the WizLiz (935648) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004930)

TV is not really a quality family time. Dont get me wrong there are shows that me and the kids love to watch. however unless you shut off the tv afterward and talk about, it there is no real social interaction going on. The internet is not much better. (yes i know that is not very slashdot of me)Face to face communication is still the best form of social activity for anyone.

Re:Not a family thing (1)

sitturat (550687) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005590)

I certainly did not say that tv is quality family time - nothing could be further from the truth. But communication on the internet has become very social these days. I know of plenty of forums where the members even meet up in real life. Things really have changed in the last few years as far as the social experience goes. I have even noticed that females (yes, real ones) make up the majority of users on many sites now - a good indication that the web has become a place to socialise.

Obvious goal (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004640)

There's a good reason the BBC would be interested in this, they would love another way to charge everyone a tax on something silly like they do with TV.

If you own a computer then it's assumed you will consume Internet BBC content, therefore you must pay your computer BBC tax. Socialism works!

I've never once consumed a TV show. (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005072)

"consume Internet BBC content"

The way it works, you just can't consume [reference.com] broadcast content. It's not a good, and does not get used up or destroyed by the act of viewing it.

Re:Obvious goal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17005336)

They produce the best programming in the world. It's easily worth much more than the "tax".

No surprise considering shitty programs (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004644)

that are running among in all channels. Why watch crap, whereas on internet you can choose what you view on what hour ?

Re:No surprise considering shitty programs (1)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004988)

That's right. The Internet brings you even lower quality crap, but on your schedule, and plastered with even more ads. Hooray.

Re:No surprise considering shitty programs (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005234)

at least i can choose which crap to watch here, and whenever i want.

i have 50 channels on cable here. i watch 3 of them, only at times.

Re:No surprise considering shitty programs (1)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005466)

So the actual quality doesn't matter, you just want control?

I'd gladly take quality over control.

Like this Cute Classic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17005196)

Japanese SIMs Advert [youtube.com] , via Kotaku [kotaku.com] . Alas poor TV, you have no chance.
Apologies if the link doesn't work. Also if it does, I guess. I wanted to test a YouTube link on Slashdot.

To Bittorrent (1)

kickedfortrolling (952486) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004646)

I watch tv online for 2 reasons: 1. its on now! Why should the USA get series of popular tv shows months before the uk.. 2. i can watch when i want! im a busy person, and i dont always have time to sit and watch a show when tv decides to schedule. Put ads on the downloads if u like, but im still gonna do it. why doesnt the industry embrace this side of broadcasting, which has done all the marketing and distribution itself

No No No its the UK that has the good show on now (1)

parodyca (890419) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005460)

I have the same comment (from Canada) but it's you guys in the UK with all the shows we can't get here. Doctor Who, Life on Mars, Hustle, Hotel Babylon, 55 degrees north, Mayo, and more... All shows I've been able to watch via BitTorrent that I would not otherwise get to watch. As for American programming I watch as little of that as possible.

I even sent and email to BBC a while back offering to pay to get legal access to some of these programs. Predictably I got no response. Honestly you Brit's who bash the BBC really have no idea how good you have it. Come to Canada and watch some of the stuff here that passes for "Canadian Content" (if you can 'cause most of the stuff here is rebroadcast US shows) and you'll appreciate your national broadcaster so much more.

Doesn't matter... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004664)

Television is when my Dad comes over to switch the video input from DVD to TV and watch re-runs of COPS before he dozes off. I'm not missing much.

Sony and Panasonic are to blame (2, Insightful)

Asrynachs (1000570) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004718)

The trouble with this whole situation is the TV broadcasters are all willing to go web only. It's been known for a long time they have the capacity to go with this sort of system. Overall it'd be cheaper and better for this sort of setup. The only problem with that IS the TV broadcasters have their nuts in the vice by the big TV makers. Sony and Panasonic are forcing the broadcasters to stick to the regular conventions so they can sell their expensive and unnecessary TV. Most people when asked said they are perfectly content with watching a little 7" tv screen just so long as there's something good on. For years we've been brainwashed to think that crystal clear picture and surround sound on a 90" TV screen is the best way to enjoy our favorite shows. Now that the internet has come along and is offering people a cheap alternative viewing experience they're getting scared. Web based TV is also affecting the big couch makers, but not as bad since most of those companies also make some sort of desk chairs. Mind you they'd still be at a significant loss if web TV took over.

The simple reason behind this is... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17004790)

There isn't enough free porn on TV.

I don't get it. (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004796)

It's all video. It's just a different delivery method. People are still watching television programs, just more often now via a different device than a television set. I don't see the big deal...

Re:I don't get it. (1)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004846)

Money. Ads that are being missed are used to fund the station which produces the show. If the station lost that money that show would not be made. It is a two way street.

Re:I don't get it. (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005000)

There's no reason you can't put ads on online videos. ABC Family does that.

Re:I don't get it. (1)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005168)

Yes I know, but that is not what is being discussed really. The issue is that TV studios have yet to really find a way to make money, other than selling (iTunes) the show online. An ad on the online video is not going to yield as much as a traditional ad would. That just needs to change really. When viewership online gets to the point where companies are willing to pay more and more for them, then things will be fine. Right now, that is certainly not the case. Everyone is going to have to adapt or face losing their ass. The RIAA and MPAA are perfect examples of fighting innovation and technology because they are afraid of change.

Not so fast! (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004868)

To me, all this online video hype is just that - hype! What I have found on flash video sites including Google's Youtube is the inability to have any form of video controls. I mean, I have not been able to increase/decrease the following:

  • brightness,
  • contrast,
  • hue level,
  • saturation and
  • gamma.
Yet some of these videos are really dark and need some work to be viewable in my opinion.

The day this will be possible is the day I "might" even consider taking these videos serious. On the sound front, bass/treble are also missing!

basic production failures (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005132)

"Yet some of these videos are really dark and need some work to be viewable in my opinion."

A lot of it is production blunders. You find it everywhere. Did you ever see the Nintendo 64 version of "Doom"? Even at the max contrast/brightness adjustment, it was almost all black. Now compare "Star Trek: The Next Generation" to "Star Trek: Enterprise". Somewhere along the way between the two, they either cut the lighting technician from the budget or decided to save costs by unscrewing most of the lightbulbs from the sets. For whatever the reason, the show was very badly lit. Other shows like the short-lived "Mantis" on Fox, and even "Farscape" were pretty much unwatchable because they were so badly lit.

Re:Not so fast! (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005180)

I watch everything in Winamp (because the -> key skip 5 secs ahead for boring parts)
And I have the same issues with low brightness settings in some clips.

For me it's worse. I turn down the brightness of my monitor because it hurts my eyes.
When I watch a video, I have to play with the brightness and reset it at the end.
It's a F'ng pain.

Not there yet (1)

rlp (11898) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004882)

I have a PC connected to the TV that I use as a PVR. I time shift a lot (my family mostly watches TV on weekend evenings). Occasionally we'll look at Google video, YouTube, or some other on-line video. But it's usually just for a few minutes. The content of on-line video still can't compare to best commercial offerings like '24', and 'Battlestar Galactica', 'Modern Marvels', 'Extreme Engineering', etc. It CAN compare with most of the other stuff on TV. Which, along with lack of time, tends to limit our TV viewing.

Fear not... (1)

KeepQuiet (992584) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004906)

IP TV [wikipedia.org] will solve the problems.

PoppyCock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17005024)

Rubbish. Complete. Super-soaraway #1 best-seller (in the little craphouse in soho) nonsense.

What exactly are they watching? (1)

Have Blue (616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005050)

A lot of people go to Youtube just to watch content ripped from TV shows. Suppose that was reliably eliminated- would the site's appeal still be as high? If not, then it doesn't really represent a new paradigm, just a parasite on the old.

Re:What exactly are they watching? (1)

British (51765) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005210)

I can attest to this. Comcast's OnDemand has virtually nothing I want to watch for free/paid content. Yet, I've been watching MST3K episodes non-stop for the last 3 weeks on YouTube, and even a few on Google Video.

It's been at least five years... (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005058)

...since I've watched "normal" television. Ever since I started digitally recording TV shows on my computers, I haven't been at the mercy of ANY of the limitations of standard television. The VCR didn't even do a good job of that as you didn't have random access to your recordings. If you were watching something and fell asleep, you have to spend a good deal of time rewinding/fast forwarding to find the place where you nodded off. This was enough of a time sink that in many cases you either wound up watching from someplace close to where you left off, or just decided to skip it altogether. Especially if you didn't have much blank tape and needed to record something that very day or even minute. Too much time reqinding and fast forwarding or trying to keep track of where the "blank spots" were on your tape in terms of shows you could safely erase. But, in digital form, you just flip back and forth to any point on the timeline and you can easily resume any show in seconds. DVDs were a slight improvement but they didn't help out with recording shows until recently. I suspect this is why books still rule. They are EASIER to use than the technology that is trying to replace them. That same is true of MP3/Ogg Vorbis files for music vs. CD, Vinyl and tape. Also for MPEG, AVI files vs. video tape and DVDs. If there is a way that someone can make something easier to use than a book for reading text, they will have the key to sublimating the book.

Why is this a problem ? (1)

Salsaman (141471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005124)

Why is this a problem for TV companies ? Why not just stream your output on the internet, in addition to broadcasting over radio/cable ?

What? (1)

shaze (665876) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005298)

No one wants to pay extra to watch commercials anymore?

It's been threatening TV for 10 years (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005318)

And it'll keep threatening TV for another 100 years. Problem is, it never quite wins. In Europe where TV is still mainly low definition, the blurry 320x240 quality of internet video probably has an edge. In UKnowWhere where all prime time is HD, there's still a big difference. They've also been saying internet video would catch up to TV quality someday. It's still blurry 320x240.

Hasn't tapped books? I doubt that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17005428)

Perhaps it's true that book-length text is not often read on-line, but that doesn't mean that the net hasn't affected book publishing and distribution. It used to be that people would often buy books to learn about new subjects when they only really had a few questions on the topic and those days are clearly gone thanks to the net. Non-fiction is by far the lions share of book publishing. So just because people aren't reading novels on their PCs does not mean that the net has not tapped books.

Frist stop?! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17005768)

theorists - culture of abuse star7ling turn t8iumphs would soon
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