Why Do People Need So Many Devices to Watch TV?

Apr 04

Why Do People Need So Many Devices to Watch TV?

Up until the late 90s, people had to sit down in front of their televisions at a specific time to watch their favorite shows.

If they didn’t want to miss an episode, they would have to adjust their personal schedule according to the show’s airtime. In the event that they missed one, they would have to wait for reruns. But sometimes, an already-aired episode would be inaccessible for good – at least, until this century, of course.

Nowadays, people aren’t too concerned about missing an episode of their favorite TV shows, not when there are so many ways they can catch up. Let’s say you love watching The Office, but you can’t watch it on its scheduled airtime on television. No problem – just watch The Office online. The five most recent episodes of the show are on your cable provider’s website, but if you want to watch much earlier episodes, there’s Netflix.

You can also wait for the whole season to be over, buy the DVD set once it’s released, and marathon the whole thing in one weekend. Some people prefer to watch their favorite TV shows this way because it removes the week-long wait in between episodes, and also because they usually don’t have much free time to spare.

Whether you watch The Office online or you wait for the DVD release, there’s one thing you can count on: You can pick the most convenient time to watch it. Is your doctor late for your appointment? Just whip out your smartphone and watch the latest episode (there’s an app for that – well, several).

Do you think your commute to work takes too long? Don’t let the time go completely to waste; use it to start on that new drama you’ve been curious about. Did you arrive at the airport much earlier than you planned? Kill time by watching a few talk shows.

This phenomenon of television-on-the-go is made possible by portable devices such as media players, smartphones, tablets, and laptops. People take these devices everywhere they go. This new way of watching television has influenced ratings so much that Nielsen Media Research, a company which measures television viewership through Nielsen ratings, recently announced that they would count views from Internet broadcasts. This is big news because the Nielsen ratings system is considered the authority on viewership count. Shows have been renewed or canceled on the results of this ratings system.

But why do people need portable devices to watch TV shows, when they can just watch them on television? Think about it: Because of the Internet, people have grown used to getting the information they need in the way they want, and that extends to their favorite TV shows. Gone are the days when broadcasting networks expected viewers to adjust to their scheduling decisions. Now, if people want to watch The Office online or anything else at 2 a.m. on their laptops, then you can be sure that’s exactly what they’ll do