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Television Media

Online Video Begins To Threatens Television 188

Posted by kdawson
from the watching-a-different-box dept.
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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Online Video Begins To Threaten Television

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  • by suso (153703) * on Monday November 27, 2006 @02:18PM (#17004340) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • by grapeape (137008) <mpope7@kcTEA.rr.com minus caffeine> on Monday November 27, 2006 @02:26PM (#17004482) Homepage
      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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Nos. (179609)
        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.
      • 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
        • 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!

        • by rucs_hack (784150) on Monday November 27, 2006 @03:29PM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Mad Dog Manley (93208)
        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.
      • So... Does anyone make a small USB powered Watercooler?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Plutonite (999141)
        How many families really sit down and watch programs togetherand when they do, how many actually communicate during them

        As a fellow geek I would love to join this parade, but you are wrong. Families do get together over T.V, even if it's just for the news or the odd movie. Television is a culture, to the extent that some people cannot initiate conversation without having something flashing on the tube. The online streaming thing is an entirely different world: you are connected to many people who may share
      • by kabocox (199019)
        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
    • by CarlJagt (877688) on Monday November 27, 2006 @02:29PM (#17004536) Homepage

      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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        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: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by StikyPad (445176)
          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.

          Except that if nobody watches TV, there will be no "Lost" to download this weekend/wait for the DVD. (Although I'd venture a guess that exponentially more people use a VCR/PVR to record shows anyway.) TV won't "die" until there's both a viable distribution method to replace it, and an unmarketable remaining audience -- something which wil
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)
      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.

      • by siriuskase (679431) on Monday November 27, 2006 @03:07PM (#17005154) Homepage Journal
        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.
        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          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 bet

      • by timeOday (582209)
        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.
      • by Aladrin (926209)
        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 use
        • by drinkypoo (153816)
          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
          • by Aladrin (926209)
            Absolutely. I only recently subscribed to cable again because they offered HD DVR for $5 more than the regular package. It saves me a TON of hassle trying to track and find the latest shows each week. I no longer have to remember when they are on, or wait 3 days to download them.

            It's all about convenience.

            And yes, some shows, I'd scream at anyone who talks through them. Now I don't have to. (Pause button rocks, PC and DVR both.) Even the shows we watch together, if we miss something, we just hit that
    • 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.

    • by mcrbids (148650)
      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 Y
    • by evilviper (135110)

      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.

      Terrible! Just think what will come next...

      They'll have students, from grades 7 up, stop spending all day in a single class of 30 people. Gasp! People might actually be able to learn at a different rate in different subjects than their peers!

      Then, the next step is surely people will stop taking mass transit, and insist on d

    • Last time I sat down with my extended family to watch a movie, my brother's mother-in-law kept yapping "what's going on?" "who is this?" "why is he...?" and various other inane questions regarding the plot of the movie, disrupting *my* enjoyment of said movie.

      And she gave me the evil eye when I told her that if she actually shut up, watched and listened, she'd get the answer to her own questions.
    • by donglekey (124433)
      I have hung out with friends lots of times watching videos. Instead of watching TV or a movie, there is a break after every video, and the video can be played again, so we end up talking lots more. I have also sat down with friends to watch TV or movies on my computer screen, because I have a couch in front of it. A lot of it depends on interface. TV's have couches in front of them and computers don't, or people don't have computers hooked up to their TV's, but these things are changing.
    • Once a week a group of friends and I get together to watch the latest downloaded episodes of Heroes and Torchwood.

      I would say I socialise more with other people while watching shows now that I download them.
    • I think online communities like YouTube and Slashdot will end up brining people together. And if you disagree with me I'll wig out and get all polarized ;-)

      Ban TV [abandonedstuff.com] - Perhaps you'd like to join the Teleban, and join my crusade to bring an end to old style entertainment that keeps people isolated?
  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Monday November 27, 2006 @02:20PM (#17004386) Homepage Journal
    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: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by kfg (145172)
      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
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Monday November 27, 2006 @02:21PM (#17004398) Journal
    My flatscreen has a pc input...
    Just a different source for video feeds...
    current content providers will adapt...

    News at 11
  • by Tx (96709) on Monday November 27, 2006 @02:21PM (#17004402) Journal
    You've just been looking for an excuse to use that word in an article, haven't you?
    • by Red Flayer (890720) on Monday November 27, 2006 @02:33PM (#17004602) Journal
      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: (Score:3, Funny)

        by drinkypoo (153816)
        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.


        • 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.


          It's pretty hard to break into an industry with such stiff competition. And if you make it, everyone wants a piece of you.

      • This has huge implications for mank-ind. -Jack Handey [wikipedia.org]
  • Is this a surprise? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by grapeape (137008) <mpope7@kcTEA.rr.com minus caffeine> on Monday November 27, 2006 @02:21PM (#17004406) Homepage
    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.
  • ...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
  • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <<akaimbatman> <at> <gmail.com>> on Monday November 27, 2006 @02:22PM (#17004418) Homepage Journal
    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: (Score:2, Funny)

      by kfg (145172)
      . . .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
    • by kent_eh (543303)
      Another thought...

      Episodes of shows aren't broadcast at the same time in different places. There is often a lag of days or weeks between airing in one country and another.

      So, you hear (on-line, naturally) about the latest show and you know it won't be on the local airwaves for a week or so, whaddya do?

      The television industry shoots itself in the foot again.
       
      • by mpe (36238)
        Episodes of shows aren't broadcast at the same time in different places. There is often a lag of days or weeks between airing in one country and another.

        In some cases this can be months to years.

        The television industry shoots itself in the foot again.

        Or would do if it actually had any feet left :)
  • by Kombat (93720) <kombat@kombat.org> on Monday November 27, 2006 @02:24PM (#17004446) Homepage
    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.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      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 do

    • by kabocox (199019)
      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 upcomin
  • Logical step (Score:2, Interesting)

    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.
    • by askegg (599634)
      Absolutely!
      Here is Australia we do not have Tivo, but I suspect its success is a direct response to the freedom of viewing options it offers. Although we can still record free to air programs and play them back at anytime, this *does not compare* with being able to watch the program *you* want *when* you want it.
      Millions are flocking to bittorrent sites to download their favorite programs so they can watch them whenever is convenient for them, not the networks. This presents a tremendous opportunity for
  • It's obvious (Score:5, Interesting)

    by spyrochaete (707033) on Monday November 27, 2006 @02:25PM (#17004476) Homepage Journal
    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: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Mad Dog Manley (93208)
      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
    • 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.
      • 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.
    • by Ant P. (974313)
      The BBC doesn't run ads.
    • Re:It's obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

      by The-Bus (138060) on Monday November 27, 2006 @02:56PM (#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.
    • 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 in
  • Sure it is. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Monday November 27, 2006 @02:33PM (#17004606) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • that are running among in all channels. Why watch crap, whereas on internet you can choose what you view on what hour ?
  • 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.
  • 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

    • "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 f
    • 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.
  • 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 ou
  • 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.
    • by British (51765)
      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.
  • ...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 wat
    • Ho Hum, its been 25 years since I watched TV on a regular basis. I can still catch a show if I visit people.

      I read, listen to music or speech, watch DVD's and have been online since 94. I dont miss Tv a bit.

      Having said that Youtube has been fantastic, everything from Geriatric1927, skateboarding dogs, The Dresden Dolls, to rare videos of minor stars of yesteryear, fabulous. I don't suppose it will last much longer when copyright is finally imposed. Half the content will die and the rest will degenerate int
      • by eno2001 (527078)
        Oh dear... another one from the "I don't own a TV" brigade. TV ISN'T bad. It's the programming that sucks unless you can find a good source. And that's what digital liberates. Yes, Youtube is OK in that you can find some rare stuff there that you may have been looking for for decades but the quality is ass. You're better off hanging out with connesseurs who know where to get rare stuff and then digitizing it. Sure, I hate reality TV and pretty much all the other tripe out there. But that's no reason
        • Who says TV is bad? I just dont have time to watch it. I agree the BBC does some good stuff, we get some entertaining American series too in the UK - I've seen a load of episodes of the West Wing on DVD and occasionaly on the network, great fun. I try and sit and watch all the TV that my girlfriends watch, saw a lot of Buffy that way. But at the end of the day there are other things you can do with your life other than watching a lot of broadcast TV.
          • by eno2001 (527078)
            That I CAN agree on. I suppose it was a knee-jerk reaction to all the people I run into who make it seem like watching TV is a horrible thing to do to your brain.
  • Why is this a problem for TV companies ? Why not just stream your output on the internet, in addition to broadcasting over radio/cable ?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      It's all about control and providing advertisers with the "intended audience". By forcing viewers to adhere to a schedule they think they know exactly the kinds of people who will be watching at any moment. That makes the marketing people a Proctor and Gamble happy. It's also good for the networks to help sell their new shows. They can make you wonder "Where's Lost?!" when "Day Break" comes on, but chances are you'll watch it anyway. They can make you watch "The War At Home" while you wait for the next good
      • by Salsaman (141471)
        How is this any different to streaming over the net ? I'm not even talking about video on demand. They can still keep the same schedule, just use a different delivery medium. They can still keep track of the number of viewers (probably even more easily, since they will know roughly geographically where there viewers are). They can still show ads, etc.
  • 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.
    • In Europe where TV is still mainly low definition, the blurry 320x240

      All of Europe is PAL at 768x576. (800x600, SVGA to you) It is interlaced though. There may be occasional overpriced stations running the rare HD demo, but I have not seen them yet. This may be your point, but its not what you said. In the USA, the stuff is supposed to be 704x480. (640x480, VGA)

    • by mpe (36238)
      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.

      The average viewer dosn't actually much care about these kind of things. The advantage of DVD over VHS random access (which is why sequences of propaganda which cannot be skipped are so annoying).
  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday November 27, 2006 @03:53PM (#17005904)
    The increase of online viewing is only a threat to those stupid enough not to provide easy means of viewing shows online!

    And by show, I mean any media!

    Advertisers seem threatened by online media. Yet how many years ago was it that AdCritic had to start charging because they got too popular? Why is there no modern AdCritic that is free and supported by millions of companies that have ads they want consumers to watch?

    The networks have started to air shows online but when will they stop treating online viewers as second class citizens and let the people download a show the moment it airs?

    I canceled my cable a year or two ago and have not looked back, because downloading (even by purchase) media is just such an improved way to watch TV, better even than TiVO (which was always merely an intermediate step to true random access of, and within, media).

  • Of COURSE it will!!

    Only those who grew up with (or prior to) TV and are hopelessly clinging the past would ever doubt it.
  • The only live air I watch anymore is small market non commercial channel (TVO), or local news.

    Everything else I get from torrents. Being set free from idiot network TV programmer/scheduling was a breath of fresh Air. I started because I lost cable and had to decide wether to pick it up again. Discovered TV-Torrents and was quickly hooked.

    I was now enjoying shows that I had given up on. Stargate SG1 was one that I liked but it was in syndication hell, on 5 different channels, only one of which had new episod
  • Heinous profiteering. It's not just the publishers, but the device manufacturers and electronic distributers. DRM and other forced proprietarianism used to artificially inflate prices to maximize profit at the cost of the medium. Quite sad, hopefully wont last long. I bought an ebook reader not too long ago (an eBookwise 1150 [ebookwise.com], partly due to other mentionings on slashdot), and it's a great turd. The price is a bit high for the device itself. It only displays one proprietary format, for which there is a
  • TV is basically a one way pipe to a dumb terminal, a relic of the last century. Online viewing has the potential to be much more.

    But right now we need a lot more bandwidth to make online viewing a more convenient experience. Here's where conflict of interest comes in. In the US some big cable companies are also ISPs. Don't expect them to give you more Internet bandwidth so you can spend more time on the net and eventually cancel your cable subscription. Expect Net Neut to come up again and again as the n
  • Remember, in London it's illegal to operate a TV set without a license to do so. The sole reason for that license is to generate revenue for the BBC.

    So there's a rational case for throwing out your TV and watching everything over a computer monitor... no tax!

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell

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