Mar 6, 2009
Amber

To TV or not to TV?

So it seems like people are abandoning their TVs. I can’t count the number of times I’ve tried to complain about a commercial or missing my favorite show when I am reminded how out of fashion I am. Who watches TV anyway? Well, at least, on a TV. Yesterday, a guy in one of my classes was looking at the newspaper and someone asked what he was reading. “Oh just the TV guide, looking to see what’s on tonight,” he responded. Someone scoffed at him, “just watch them online!”

Now-a-days all the cool kids watch their favorite shows online shortly after, or sometimes even while, they premiere on the cable channel. Who needs constant commercial breaks highlighting various products when they can have a few short ads for just one product. All the stations now have their shows streaming on their Web sites: ABC, Spike, and Comedy Central to name a few. Or, if you’re looking for all your favorite shows from the various channels in one place, Hulu is for you. Not only does Hulu have TV shows, it also has feature length movies like Liar Liar and Rocky; whatever you’d expect to be playing at some point in time during the day while you’re at work or school.

Even my mom is into it! I sure was surprised when I found out my less than tech savvy parents had ditched their TV in their bedroom and hooked up their HD computer monitor to the satellite box. Then, I was even more surprised when I found out my mom (an avid Young and the Restless fan) would watch her favorite soap in the afternoon on the CBS Web site. Of course this is incredibly convenient for my mom, who often missed episodes because her schedule sometimes has her busy in the middle of the day when the show appears on TV.

Honestly, I think it’s ingenious of television stations. They basically curbed torrenting and illegal file sharing of their shows by offering them for free online. They still get ad revenue and people don’t mind the short commercial breaks on the web episodes. People also like that they can stream them instead of downloading a show they aren’t going to watch more than once. I just don’t know if I’m into it yet. Maybe it’s because I spend too much time online anyway, but I like the comfort of watching a show on TV sometimes. I’ve watched plenty of episodes online but sometimes I find myself getting distracted if the show isn’t that enthralling; I’ll tab out or chat with friends on AIM. Of course, I kind of cheat when it comes to commercials since I DVR most shows I watch anyway.

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