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Where do you watch TV?

I recently wrote a post about why the Hulu commercial during the Super Bowl was a big statement. Now, I’d like to look at the other side of this coin: why Hulu and other online TV services won’t catch up to the power/influence of good ol’ TV for a little bit.

While the Internet has radically changed our lives – from how we shop to how we get information – there is still a giant barrier that needs to be broken down: how do we use the Internet as a family.

Odds are you are sitting at your desk (either at work or at home) away from other people. You have the history of Earth, of humans and of any other topic at your fingertips, yet you’re most likely looking at miniature screen, huddled over your keyboard with a drink sitting on the corner of your desk.

Contrast that with the image of you and your loved ones (or not loved ones, if you prefer) sitting around your flat-screen television. I’m also willing to bet that when you first moved into your house (or apartment) you set up your living room (some call it a TV room) with your TV as the focal point. Where the couches were placed, where the table was placed, was all determined by where you set up your TV. Probably, same goes for your bedroom.

This hasn’t happened yet with the computer. For starters, as mentioned above, the screen is too small to serve as your primary TV (although early adopters are starting to use their computer monitors as TV monitors, too). Additionally, our collective consciousness still reverts back to a time where a computer meant work. You would have a computer at the office, but not one at home. And if you did have one at home, it was probably in some other room that’s not your living room.

Today, computers are just as ubiquitous as televisions. Indeed, I have more computers in my home than I do TVs. But the fact remains that I watch 99% of my TV on the TV. The other 1% is when I miss something. Then I go online to watch.

While the technology is there for us to watch TV online, it hasn’t yet hit mainstream and my guess is that it’s because of our sociological patterns. We eat in front of the TV, but how many meals do you eat in front of the computer?

However, times are a changing. Last week I went up to Woodstock for a quick getaway. My wife and I were at this fantastic B&B who had the Dish Network in our room. Thing was, it snowed about 6 inches and we lost signal. We really wanted to watch American Idol. Ok, I really wanted to watch AI, and my wife just wanted a distraction other than me. Luckily, we had our laptop and went to Justin.tv, where we were able to watch AI…live!

Where do you watch TV?

About joshsternberg

Josh Sternberg is the content strategist for The Washington Post. Prior to that he was the media reporter for Digiday. Additional bylines include: The Atlantic, The Awl, Pacific Standard, Mashable, Huffington Post, Mediaite.


2 thoughts on “Where do you watch TV?

  1. It’s an important question. From a marketing point of view, determining how the physical viewing environment will change is a current “holy grail.”From a parent point of view, I see how my 7 and 9 year old are already moving towards watching TV on the computer. My husband got them excited in football and they have figured out to watch past Superbowl games on the computer monitor.In other words, we may still be sorting through how adults handle this, but our children are unlikely to even consider it a problem.Elizabeth SosnowBlissPRhttp://www.blisspr.com

    Posted by Elizabeth Sosnow | February 26, 2009, 2:47 pm
  2. Now the access to multimedia content on hulu.com is accessible only for Internet users in the United States, but the most people in the rest of world hope that the access hulu.com programs will not be restricetd anymore.

    Posted by Jarred Goehring | November 28, 2011, 12:44 am

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