Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Viewing habits shift from televisions to laptops


Not so long ago, it was an accepted truism that “no-one wants to watch TV on their computer.” But the profusion of streaming video, podcasts and web series has changed attitudes dramatically in the last couple of years. According to a recent article in the New York Times, more and more people are getting rid of their television and watching their programs online.

To me, this move makes sense. Online gives viewers more options in more locations, and with a wider choice of programs, not all of which are the product of Hollywood. A reasonable analogy would be the trend away from land-lines towards using mobile phones exclusively. There will also be room for living-room content; I for one still have my television, though it’s rapidly becoming more of a peripheral for my Xbox and a dvd-playback device than anything I’d watch actual TV programs on. Especially now that Ive discovered Livestation, which streams BBC World News, Al Jazeera and many other news channels right to my computer.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

3 Responses to “ Viewing habits shift from televisions to laptops ”

Victor says:

Definitely. ‘Television’ and its service mediums (recording, remoting, streaming, ‘casting) are adapting to the idea that they need to cater to consumers’ schedules, not the other way around. Hulu is a good example. It’s going to come to a head when we will be able to watch all programming on our mobile devices, on demand, and directly from the host without additional intermediaries that we have to set up.

cam c. says:

Livestation is pretty sweet… I was playing with it last night. Apparently they have a new iPhone app debuting soon, too.

Actually, I was laying in bed half asleep a few mornings ago watching a CBC news video on the phone, just hoping that within a year I’d be able to watch a variety of channels more normally; pretty exciting that it’s already starting to happen.

Warren Frey says:

It’s already happened in Japan and elsewhere, and it’s only a matter of time before it happens here. The real question is if the cable/satellite providers will get on board or fight it tooth and nail. It’s a losing battle…I want my video where and when it’s convenient to me, and most of the time that’s on my phone or on my computer.

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