People will tell you of a time when you didn’t get to choose what you were watching on television. There were a limited amount of channels, and even they didn’t air all day long. But TV kept advancing, by the time that SKY was available to nearly every home in Britain it felt like more choice than we could have ever imagined. However, television technology kept advancing along the world. Thanks to the improvements in technologies such as the internet, TV has never had so much choice and accessibility. These are the ways that technology has changed the small screen:
Thanks to the internet, it’s now easier than ever to stream our favourite episode of our favourite show whenever we want. Alongside this amazing advancement in accessibility, the fandom of shows has grown considerably. You’ll find an online place to discuss just about any show that is packed with crazed fans. An example of this is Adult Swim’s Rick & Morty. Fans of the show have become so obsessed with it that they ended up getting McDonald’s to restock a sauce that hadn’t been sold in 20 years.
The Interactive Age
If you wanted to talk about a show in the past then it would either be with the person you watched it with or you’d have to wait to discuss it with co-workers or friends. But this is not the case now. Social media has meant that you can have live discussions with complete strangers about your favourite shows. Many shows will have their own hashtags on twitter. This has been particularly affective for news and sports, as they can discuss people’s opinions live on air.
Television Technology: Cord Cutting
Long gone are the days were you needed wires connected to aerials, sky boxes etc. in order to watch your television. Thanks to companies such as Google, Amazon and Apple a simple USB stick in the side of our Sony’s and Panasonics will not only allow us to watch whatever we want, when we want, but basically turns our TV’s in to computers. Allowing us to do anything from online shopping to checking the weather.
Fresh New Faces
The introduction of Netflix, Amazon and Hulu (as well as others) to broadcasting has brought more competition than ever to the industry. They have challenged the old guard of broadcasters in a number of ways. Not only do they produce their own quality content (such as Netflix’s Stranger Things) but they will also save shows that companies no longer wanted (Netflix revived popular US sitcom Arrested Development after FOX cancelled it).
YouTube’s a Game Changer
It used to be the case that when there was an up and coming talent in the media world, a network TV station would poach them to front a new show (see the success of Seinfeld in the 90s). But thanks to platforms such as YouTube, these young stars no longer feel the need to sign contracts with big companies that may stifle their creativity. It’s becoming easier to turn big profits on YouTube and this has seen a rise in people staying with the platform instead of selling out.