back to article Net to be whupped by TV in attention battle

Growth in TV watching will outpace internet for years to come, according to figures released yesterday. It means the pot of gold lusted after by internet video disciples will remain out of reach, if it exists at all. It's estimated that telly watching will grow by two hours per week by 2012, while internet use outside work will …

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Oh yeah?

"It's estimated that telly watching will grow by two hours per week by 2012"

What basis? In the future is there likely to be any more programming that is actually worth watching, than there is now?

We were promised fantastic choice with the advent of digital TV. We sure got loads of choice, if wall-to-wall channels actually represents choice..

The trouble is; depsite the choice, there's very little, if anything to actually choose.

Can anyone suggest how mobile TV could be any better, apart from providing the ability to ignore more channels on the move?

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Anonymous Coward

Define "telly watching"

As people spend more and more time at home (on average) not doing the things they used to, like reading, and domestic chores, and as occupancy of dwellings tends towards unity as it is, more people will get recorded as watching telly than before, even if all they do is have it on in the background. The telly is usually on in our house, even if we're doing something else, so growth in TV watching doesn't actually preclude growth in PC use.

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They base this on what?

I almost totally stopped watching TV after more endless "reality" TV nonsense and year long mini-series that, because they make money, stopped making sense after a few episodes.

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Anonymous Coward

Balls to Telly

Half the people i know use th internet more than watch the tv, i myself only went back to t.v when i bought a digital stick for my laptop so i can record what i want to watch without the endless hours of crap.

It's all very well there being 30 + channels but how often is there actually anything decent on, people want to be entertained and they will seek it elsewhere if t.v cannot provide

Hurray for the Internet

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Balls to Telly

Yes, everything on the internet is ace.

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Gold badge

When?

So they're promising 170 hours per week by 2012? That'll be handy for the Olympics.

More seriously, have these researchers spoken to the other researchers who found that the presence of broadband knocked several hours per week off the household telly viewing time? At least one of these findings must be wrong.

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Thumb Down

TV sucks

I find myself watching far _less_ TV since the advent of digital. Had NTL, now have SKY with all the movies etc.

I watch at _most_ 3 hours TV a week, where as before hand it was 3H (or more) per day.

There are lots of shows for girls, but sweet FA for boys...

desperate housewives, reality TV, doing up your house, wife swap, doing up your garden, cooking shows, E! TV etc etc. i.e.: GIRLS TV.

At least we have football, but I only watch that in the pub which is really a night out, rather than watching TV!

At least I still have one show left, Stargate Atlantis, but they axed stargate SG1 which was my fav. Thank God for tuesday SkyOne -- mind you, she insisted on watching I'm a celeb as "it's the last week!" OMG

Oh top gear on a Sunday, nearly forgot.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: When?

Hi Ken,

Something's up, as Bain's analysis does seem to go against the received wisdom (Ofcom and others), which is why I thought it noteworthy. I've dinged them for more details, and will follow this up if they get back with anything interesting. Cheers,

Chris

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Boffin

so what exactly is..

..this "televisualtron" device, then? Is it like my cat's whisker radio and can grab sounds percolating through the aether by ambaric power?

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Alert

Convergence time...

The problem with broadcast telly is not the number of channels or quality of programming, but knowing WHAT to watch.

Personal experience here: I had DirecTV back in the late 1990's, but rarely turned on the set, as finding programs I was interested in was nearly impossible.

In 2000 I bought a TiVO DirecTV receiver. Suddenly the situation reveresed: TiVO began suggesting programs that I actually enjoyed. As the preferences continued to refine, I ended up with 30+ hours of "must watch" TV queued DAILY!

Of course, I couldn't WATCH 30 hours of programming every day. In fact, by 2004, I shut down the DIrecTV feed entirely - it was becoming too intrusive. Back to books and the Internet...

My point: the jury's still out on these predictions. If content streams like VoD combined with services that filter programming based on user preferences become available over the internet soon, internet broadcasting might overtake television quickly. However, this will involve a lot of parties: set top box providers, software vendors and OSS teams, the content providers, carriers, etc. all seeing the same vision and playing to it.

On the other hand, the technology for television is around today, but not utilized to provide a more targeted experience to viewers. Filling the air with more sitcoms and sports will keep a large number of punters engaged, but once the same choice comes to converged mobile and fixed-location viewing the balance may shift.

I, on the other hand, will still be reading...

And, hey, what became of the MaN froM mARS icon!!!

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Pirate

But what does watching Internet downloaded TV eps on your TV count as ?

As someone who downloads most of the TV I watch from the States, such as House, Heroes, Stargate Atlantis, Chuck, Dexter, Reaper, The Unit, the morning after they've aired there, then watch them on my 42" TFT, does that count as watching the TV, or using the Internet ?

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Anonymous Coward

TV may not be dying...

...but traditional "Broadcast TV" certainly is. I can't remember the last time I turned on my TV and actually watched a show while it was broadcast. I'm very close to canceling my cable subscription.

PVR/DVR technology and "time-shifting" means fewer people will actually tune in during normal broadcast hours. And if you miss a show, simply download a torrent and watch it on your PVR. Or wait until the whole season is out on DVD, and watch as many episodes as you like, back-to-back.

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Anonymous Coward

Yes but not for TV

Yes the net takes time away that I might have spent watching TV.

That doesn't mean I watch programmes on my computer/spend hours on YouTube.

I have chosen to go on the net to do something else. Falling over each other to make sure I can watch your TV programmes on the net is pointless.

Things like the BBC's iPlayer only work for me because the DRM can be broken so that I can watch things I forgot to record on my TV. Why would I want to watch stuff on my computer when I can sit on the sofa watching it on a screen four times the size?

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Bronze badge

TV w/tivo still better for me

My internet usage has dramatically declined over the past 5 years, even more so over the past 10 years. At home I probably spend maybe 15-30 minutes worth of time online a day, I really only visit less than half dozen web sites(only so many articles are posted on the reg each day). At work probably a couple hours, very little of which is non work-task related. 10 years ago I was online probably in excess of 10 hours a day fairly regularly, instead of doing work for college I was online learning things that lead to a really good career path.

On the flip side my tivo almost always has something to watch, yesterday probably watched a good 8 hours of tv(about a third of that being the Dallas/Green Bay game last night).

I've just lost interest in the internet, the more time goes on the less I am interested in it.

Already 2 hours of tv for me this morning(95% of which is CNBC, I'm not an investor I just find some of the stuff they talk about entertaining, the other 5% is local morning news). I've had tivo for 6 years now, without it I probably would be as burned out on TV as most people seem like they are.

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Silver badge

one to many or one to one

The thing about the internet is that to scale up, you need a new connection for each new subscriber. Apart from a PC, that means more connectivity, more network infrastructure, wider pipes. Compare that with enlarging a TV aurdience - all you need is more TVs.

From a simple economic point of view, it is easier and cheaper to double the size of the TV watching audience than the number of internet subscribers

However 2012 is only five years away (well, just over 4 if you count Jan 2008) so whatever happens, it won;t change very much in that short space of time

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TV usage is displaced by the Net, not Net Video

There is a difference. The TV usage displaced by Net usage goes to websites, not to Internet video sites. TV's loss is the Internet as a whole's gain, but Net video sites gain only small crumbs of that (then again those crumbs can be quite lucrative since the cost of production is zero and the cost of transport is steadily decreasing).

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Boffin

Life || TV

depends on whether one has a life. no one i know who has one, watches TV.

some watch TiVo, iTunes, or online content, with the occasional movie or series on DVD. sometimes, they catch some TV by accident - in the bank, the airport, the gym.

this is the US, so there are anywhere from 10 to several hundred channels available where i am at any given time. most of the programs are not worth watching, most of the time, on a value-for-time-spent basis. our house has 3 DVRs (2 TiVo, 1 DirecTV piece of crap). the big-screen TV (42in plasma) has been used 5 times in the last 11 months.

the simple truth is that the most profitable demographic is also the most time-constrained, as it is also the group with the busiest schedules, whether because of professional interests, or due to the abundance of choice in activities, or both. watching TV is usually a non-priority.

Joe Sixpack, on the other hand, is still watching, but he's fairly price-sensitive (and, as energy and food prices continue to rise, wages stagnate, and the US dollar falls, Joe will become ever more prudent with funds).

i suppose it depends on the advertiser's target audience. at the very least, casting a wider media net will certainly provide more ad opportunities. it will likely generate more sales too, and drive down the cost of ad space/time.

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Anonymous Coward

TV isn't going away....

...but I predict it will change immensely in a few years.

Already, I have a MythTV machine, which records all the broadcast shows I might want, and is more than capable of playing anything I might happen to bittorrent.

Just imagine when 100MBps+ broadband becomes widespread-- folks might opt to purchase subscriptions to the shows they enjoy, much like magazine subscriptions are now. Of course, there will also be sharing and copying, but if the subscription prices were reasonable (say, $30 a year for House or The Shield) I can see a lot of my customers who are currently struggling with the technical complexities of bittorrent jump to a subscription model in a heartbeat. Especially if all they had to do was buy a standalone component, similar to a DVD player.

The technology is functional now, and the first company to, say, license the Slingbox and build it directly into a modern TV will push it over the edge. Why would anyone willingly use broadcast, if their neighbor has a TV which records what they want, skips commercials, and allows downloading? FFS, I could build a device just like that now, if it weren't for the massive amounts of patents I'd violate. This isn't an issue for the likes of Sony or JVC, though. I'm certain they have folks who can recognize the competitive advantage that such a device would give them, making it more than worth licensing the pertinent technologies.

As soon as such a device becomes widespread, the television ad market will entirely collapse, in much the same way that the theatre behemoths did in the 1940s.

Without advertising revenue to support the production of entertainment (and I imagine that a season of The Shield is expensive to make), the networks will be forced to move to a subscription model or be strangled of funds.

The analog to digital back to analog process (And not web 2.0) will ultimately be one of the most momentous social changes humanity has ever seen.

TV isn't dying, it's evolving.

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I am so f**king bored

with both TV and internet. There are very few programs worth watching.

Sure, you may argue the Internet has more available content - but is it any better than TV? At least with TV I don't have to pay when I go over my data cap.

And no, I don't wander back and forth between the TV and the Internet. I actually go out and do stuff. See that? The thing through the window? Pull back the curtains - no, I don't care if it casts a reflection on you monitor screen, just pull 'em back. That, boys and girls, is we call "outside". Admittedly, if you're looking at a wall, it doesn't look like much.

Get off your asses and go do something with your life. Sheesh.

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