Saturday, March 12, 2011

The End of Television?

Television is one of the most iconic inventions of the 20th century - it defined the way people interacted with media, their peers and national figures. It was a medium that seemed bulletproof, sure to hold sway over our leisure time for centuries to come. And then came the internet, and things began changing.
The internet has challenged TV by allowing users to stream content from television networks straight onto computer screens. This can be done easily and cheaply (often without any cost) at the users own convenience. Watching shows through this medium has become increasingly popular especially with younger generations who love it as they can bypass ads and watch episode after episode of their favourite show without having to wait for network schedules.

 Of course there are some downsides to watching content on computers. The quality is often considerably lower and it can be quite a challenge to find what you want. Also, television has always been a communal experience and it can be quite awkward for a group of people to watch something on one tiny screen. For these reasons many people are hanging on to their TVs.
These weaknesses aside it seems likely that more and more people will start watching programs on their laptops. This change does not necessarily mean the end of television - TVs powered by cable networks may someday disappear, yet the medium itself is more popular than ever. The internet is just one more way in which shows can be viewed - TV shall rule on, though televisions themselves may perish.
Roger Cross has been a technology and consumer goods journalist since 2002, specialising in toys, video games and electronic goods. In his spare time he enjoys constructing grand Lego projects and writing sci-fi.

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