. The Transom .

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Web and TV viewers. I'm not sold yet...

There was a great story in today's WSJ Technology section titled, "TV + the Web = ?" that went into detail about the future viewing habits of many Americans. Some predict that the Web will take over television completely, while others still believe the couch potato isn't extinct just yet. Although I do see an Internet/TV revolution coming, I'm pretty sure TV is safe for a while longer.

Can you imagine sitting down to your laptop to watch the Super Bowl? Maybe you didn't have time to watch it on Super Bowl Sunday so you downloaded it from iTunes and watched it 48 hours later on your iPod. Sounds pretty crazy doesn't it?

Whenever the discussion about TV and the Web arises, it quickly turns to two topics - advertisers and time shifting (being able to watch the shows not only when you want, but where you want). The advertising subject is easy - they are constantly trying to find ways to take your money to let you watch the shows you want to see. TiVO worked for awhile in getting rid of ads, but even they are buckling under the pressure.

With time shifting it's a different discussion. There is no doubt that I am now able to download my favorite TV show onto my laptop or iPod and watch it whenever I choose. When I'm traveling, the video iPod is definitely a plus. However, how real is the need to be able to watch all TV whenever and wherever you want? Are we as a culture so out of time that we need to actually be able to watch our favorite shows in the bathroom or on a train or at work?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but outside of news shows, isn't TV entertainment? Are we so busy that we have to find ways to squeeze in our entertainment? I think if we are that busy we need to work on our productivity. Call me old-fashioned, but I rather enjoy plunking down on the couch and zoning out every now and then to whatever mindless show is on. I don't necessarily want to schedule my 'downtime.'

I think at the end of the day, it all comes down to one thing: choice. We can choose to be as busy or as free as we want. While I love the idea of TV on the Web and more choices are indeed a great thing, I have to caution against this getting out of control. I'll be interested to look back one year from now and see what new choices are available and what people are realistically able to handle. If you need me, I'll be the one looking for conversation with a human instead of searching iTunes for the last two episodes of Lost.

Are you not entertained??

2 Comments:

  • I'm just the opposite. I would rather search I Tunes and find a show that I deem quality rather than sitting in front of the TV simply to zone out and have my brain wallow in the stupidity of some reality show. Personally, I think the demands of the workplace and day-to-day life (especially if you have kids) have squeezed our chances of actually viewing entertainment that TIVO or an I-Tunes devise becomes essential. Word.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, May 17, 2006 9:38:00 PM  

  • A very good point and a further example of why one solution doesn't fit everyone. Entertainment, or lack of entertainment, comes in many forms. I'm with you on reality TV though. Stupidity doesn't even begin to describe it. Reruns of Cheers... now that's entertainment. Word.

    By Blogger Rob Amberg, at Thursday, May 18, 2006 1:16:00 PM  

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