Television: Tunnel vision: One hundred years of traditional broadcast without change

It is bold talk, aimed to corner the television communication’s audience segment, and it seems increasingly clear that it’s going to happen.   Though the death of television has been proclaimed, it is  unlikely this will occur.   The reach and influence, of mass free-to-air broadcasting, is declining.  The internet “is becoming embeded in our lives” and may eventually replace the television’s key role in the home.

It all begin well. After a promising start in early 1900 with technology of young Philo Farnsworth’s ‘live transmission of moving images’,  that became television as we know today.  Network broadcasts quickly premitted everyone, everywhere, with an antena, to access moving images broadcasted from central locations.  Then came narrowcasting technology of cable (like) companies which allowed creation of subscription revenues.

But the larger story, falling of broadcast news.  The rise of the worldwide Web has almost replaced newspapers and radio broadcasts as the most favorite news source for Americans, after TV.  The Internet is on an upward path. Television is stable but is in slow decline.

For younger audiences, the Internet has become the primary source for news, cable news. For entertainment, cable was created for movies, favorite shows and advertisements. The rise of Amazon, Apple, Youtube and Netflix doesn’t mean the demise of TV (yet); since handling the remote can be additive. When I am researching online or writing in automation, for example, I’m also checking email and texting on my iPhone and reading the Huffington Post on my iPad. The iPad and iPhone didn’t replace the TV. Then, with a few clicks, I watch a movie.  They supplemented my television.

Television is merely a charming piece of modern, expensive furniture to impress house guests.  It has no lead to go looking for revenues other than advertising.

And finally, with ‘neutral internet’ access under fire by telecom’s and big corporations, it may appear that traditional television may be on its way back to dominating news and entertainment.  The consuming public, however, who are dependent on their digital devices will most likely opt to pay (at the pump) whatever is required

Where do you see yourself reading news and viewing entertainment in the near future?  Your comments are welcome!


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