...The differences between Television and Internet Lecturer: Steve Zhou Zhi Words account: 586 Television and Internet, both of them as mass media, there are many differences. On Oct 2 1925, the first Television is invented by a Scottish people John Logie Baird. “Television(TV) is a widely used telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that are either monochromatic ("black and white") or color, usually accompanied by sound.”(Television, WIKIPEDIA, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tv, accessed 30 October 2010) Nowadays, TV as a source of news and entertainment of mass medium has played an absolutely necessary part of people’s daily life. However, comparing with TV, the speed of development and spread of Internet is incredible. “Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP) to serve billions of users worldwide.”(Internet, WIKIPEDIA, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet, accessed 30 October 2010) In the end of 1960s with military intention American scientists invented Internet to keep up correspondence after under attack by enemy. Despite in military fields, it is widely used in civil fields in next decades. Moreover, Internet as...
The television business has changed from provider-driven to consumer-driven. For broadcasters and operators – who used to decide whether content lived or died — the internet has proven to be a most disruptive development, looming menacingly over their profit stream. The internet is changing the TV business forever.
These changes affect the definition of TV itself; what do we really mean by television? It used to refer to a cabinet-like device, with scheduled programming on a small number of broadcast channels. It became cable, satellite and internet television (IPTV) with hundreds of channels. Today, viewers can watch football, drama, news and the latest cat video at will, sometimes simultaneously with their tablet or smartphones.
Viewers are in control, creating personal playlists while digital recorders, applications and TV web sites accommodate binge-watching. Commentary moves immediately to social media, not to a weekly TV Guide or the daily newspaper. YouTube and commercial content intermingle. This has been happening for years, but the TV industry is only starting to respond to its challenges.
Operators used to perceive "cord cutters," those who cancelled TV subscriptions, as merely a glitch resulting from the 2008 recession. However, they have been replaced by the "cord-nevers" who will not buy any television packages. A whole generation is being raised on a steady diet of Netflix, Hulu and YouTube. Live television over the air (OTA) has become a niche for reality TV, sports, reruns and newscasts. The reasons to maintain a cable subscription are to watch specialised sports or high-quality subscription-based channels. But many cable connection fees include access to applications that allow those channels to be consumed over the top (OTT) in a "cord-cutting" model. This is the new way of watching TV.
The industry is taking action. High-quality OTT television, like HBO Go, requires good quality broadband access, which is still not available everywhere at competitive prices. Will operators invest in broadband infrastructure if it means a shrinking of their lucrative legacy television markets? The answer to this question touches at the very concept of the internet itself, a democratic medium in its purest sense, fundamentally different from the television operators' business. Comcast got into the content business with the acquisition of NBCUniversal and exclusive transmission deals with Netflix. While ad-based television is still the major revenue model, subscriptions are also attractive. The disruptions are just starting.
Social television is a consequence of the convergence of TV and internet. Twitter, Facebook, and a growing list of tablet applications, allow ratings, checking-in and instantaneous communication between viewers, actors and characters. Soon applications will allow the sharing of snippets of programming. These are all builders of brand and programme loyalty.
The finale to US series Breaking Bad was seemingly the only topic of interest, on and offline, for more than a week. Valentine's Day dinners were cancelled this year while viewers binged on "House of Cards". And some of the people who watched these programmes did so with their parents.
The difference is that students tuned in hours later on their laptops while doing homework. Late-night workers picked it up in the morning. Business people watched it on a tablet on their way to work before discovering spoilers. The internet has disrupted the television industry, but not television itself.
TV has an incredible power to bring people together, by getting people to invest in its characters and their tories. That is not likely to change, whether episodes are carefully metered out or binge-watched. People desperately want to know what happens to Walter White. But they want to know at a time that is best for them, not best for the network, and they want the world to know what they thought about it.
Technology and user behavior can also have an impact on the television creation of tomorrow. There is an opportunity for content creators, distributors, and consumers to create a new TV that pro- rather than reactive, and constructive rather than limiting.
Marie-José Montpetit is an invited scientist and lecturer at MIT in Comparative Media Studies.
To get weekly news analysis, job alerts and event notifications direct to your inbox, sign up free for Media Network membership.
All Guardian Media Network content is editorially independent except for pieces labelled 'Advertisement feature'. Find out more here.