Q: I am not sure when, but it must be these couple years, I started to notice my grandkids were not into TV whenever the families come over for the Holidays. They are all in their mid-20s, and I asked them what channel they liked to watch, they looked at each other and then the eldest answered they didn't know and hadn't had cables for awhile. So what do youngsters watch these days? And if no one watches TV, why are stores still selling TVs?
|photo by David Fulmer|
A: These are two not-so-related issues and the very definite answer is that TV is staying regardless of the existence of cable companies. Moreover, TV is getting bigger and the image is becoming more crispy clear.
So what do youngsters watch these days? They are still watching TV, but only many get signals from the internet. The TV service in the 21st century is all about watching shows whenever we want and wherever we can, and internet stream videos make this possible. That’s why the old cable TVs are going away slowly and internet TV services are coming strong on today’s market. This doesn’t mean ABC, PBS, CBS or HBO would run out of business. They will still be in the same media business, but they are going to provide services in a different way.
Currently the hottest internet TV thing is a device called media-streaming box. There are several devices on the market today such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku.
They are pretty much like the old cable companies. Anyone gets a high-speed internet and a TV is ready to go. And we don’t need to set up the VCR for recording if we can’t get home on time because we can watch the shows whenever we want. And we also can buy or rent movies directly through them.
Where do those internet TVs get their media content? Of course, from our good old friends ABC, PBS, CBS or HBO. That’s why we say, “only they are going to provide services in a different way.” And surely they are going to charge us in a different way. Some channels, such as PBS or YouTube, are free but many channels on Apple TV , Amazon Fire TV or Roku are subscription services. This means viewers pay monthly for channels of their choices, and they will be able to watch all contents on that channels; that’s if they get that much time to do it. For example, CBS charges $ 6/m for the CBS news channels, and Netflix, unlimited movie services, runs between $7.99 to $11.99 per month. As for Amazon Fire TV, it also has Amazon $99/ year prime services for unlimited movies, sports and TV shows, plus millions of songs .
Surely, viewers don’t need to get those media-streaming boxes to watch internet TV. Anyone who has the access to the internet can watch internet TV. We can watch it on iPads, smartphones, or even computer screens, like I do. I get a 27-inch Apple display. What many people do is simply get the screen on their smart devices to show on TV by a cable or Chromecast.
The bottom line is youngsters today still watch TV and we watch even more, but only we get them by the internet, and we only watch shows interesting to us with minimal commercial interruptions.
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