Last week I was home alone for a few days as my folks traveled to sandy beaches for a quick vacation. The timing of the vacation and its length made me opt out of it but it did give me an interesting situation to ponder over.
I dont watch tv. I haven’t sat in front of the telly switching channels looking for something to watch, in almost 4 years now. I do have a sexy 51″ HDTV at home but I usually switch it on to catch live sporting events or movies (or to watch “The World From Above” on Discovery from time to time, that show is awesome!)
When I do end up with a remote in my hand, my usage of the telly usually follows the following pattern: Switch on Tv -> Browse thru all the HD channels for: Live Sporting events/Movies/Anything that would be super cool to watch in HD -> Switch off tv.
That usually takes about a few minutes.
My parents watch the tv more often, not surprising considering its their main source of news & information. I prefer to get my news online (twitter actually :P )
Last weekend, being at home (nursing an irritating viral fever) I had all the time in the world to rediscover the world of TV. I ended up watching a “Big Bang Theory” marathon and later my first full film on cable in years, Kung Fu Panda. During the weekend I watched parts of Independence day and a bunch of other movies.
The one thing that hit me was that the tv viewing experience has changed quite a bit in the last few years. The ad breaks are shorter and timed, there are loads of in-program ads and most importantly, the quality of telecast is simply superb. Another off hand realization was that tv can and will literally suck your free time into a black hole. That was something I knew from a long time but what I learnt was that its potency has only grown over the years.
Despite the attractive changes, I doubt I will be spending a lot of my time watching programs on the telly. The variety, availability and control over using a computer as an entertainment system out trumps anything the idiot box has to offer currently. Yet I see the reason why big corporations are spending a lot of money trying to ‘solve’ the TV viewing experience.
All in all a weekend well spent :P