Companies spend $70 billion per year advertising on TV in the United States alone. 60 million TV’s are HD compatible. in some demographics just 5% of viewers aren’t using laptops or mobile devices while watching. TV is always about it’s stats. yet the most important number has always been “how many viewers.” because as impressive as the number of times a YouTube video has been watched it pales compared to the numbers of viewers that television racks up every day.
there’s a cost that goes with that if you want to participate. you dedicate some area of living space to the digital fireplace. you pay for feeds whether it’s cable, satellite or both. you subscribe to rental services, and you might make a trip to the video store. don’t forget the money you’ve spent on players, displays, cables, remotes, speakers, amplifiers, projectors and comfy places to sit.
if you want a financial reason to watch less TV all you need to do is add up all your monthly entertainment bills then multiply by 12. that’s your yearly cost. notice how it adds up to way more than you thought? now think of other ways that budget could entertain you.
the question is, “who’s ready to cut the cord?” or the cable. or maybe take down your dish.
cutting yourself off of the feed you gets you a new perspective on all things media. it changes the way you get news, watch shows & movies and use your free time. if you are sports fan you might find your way to a place that has other like minded people. it’s a lot of time being taken from you in a passive way. put in another perspective an 18 year old will have watched 10,000 hours of TV. which is a number experts are very interested in talking about.
for lifetime TV watchers jumping off of TV is a very difficult and possibly impossible task. “veg’ing out” watching a show, any show is one of the most cited forms of relaxation giving as an end of the day activity. there are generations that tuned into the news, watched Carson and rifted off to sleep before the 3rd guest only to be woken when the station signed off for the night. auto-off on the modern TV fixes this problem.
if you manage to do the impossible you might find other ways to fill the VOID you made. DVD box sets, NetFlix, video games and even torrentz are ways of getting content. in fact some things are even better than TV ever was. MLB.tv is possibly the best way to watch baseball next to being in a bar or at the stadium. don’t forget that there is a long list of hardware ready to do the job of putting show on a screen for you.
some technology is trying to keep the TV model somewhat intact rather than pushing new ground. and some of the business models are just dumb. like trying to say that there is a difference between “streaming” and “downloading”. fundamentally it’s the same thing but with different end games.
we can also get critical of how modern TV tries to keep the urgency of watching alive by limiting what can be watched to the last 5 shows. this is not much different then the old “time slot” popularity contest that TiVO and REplay helped kill. once you can watch TV on your time you never want to watch TV any other way.