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How Technology is Changing the Way We Watch Television

August 31, 2015 No Comments

Featured article by Calvin Page, IT Specialist

art technology 300x170 How Technology is Changing the Way We Watch Television

Since it was first invented, television technology has come a long way. What was once viewed on a little black and white box has become an on-demand experience on sleek, large flat-screen TV’s. Not only that, but more and more viewers are watching their favorite movies and television shows on not just their TV, but on their tablets and smartphones as well. Along with the evolving technology, the way in which television is viewed has also been subject to development and change. Gone are the days of making sure that you were home at a certain time for your favorite show, as with streaming video, DVR’s, on-demand services and recording technology you can watch pretty much what you want, whenever you want. We’ve put together a list of trends that are contributing to the change in how we watch TV.

Social Television

Social media has had a dramatic impact on how we watch television, and popular shows such as Pretty Little Liars and American Idol along with famous televised events such as the Golden Globes have taken to social media platforms such as Twitter as a way to better interact with their audience, and bringing content from the TV screen to the second screen or even vice versa. During filming of new episodes actors are sending tweets from behind the scenes, and fictional characters from popular television shows have their own social media accounts.     All of this is brought together to market to viewers by the use of branded hashtags.

The TV Guide Doesn’t Control Us

Thanks to evolving technology, TV viewers are no longer slaves to the television guide. Technology has given us control of how, where and when we watch TV, and thanks to streaming services and portable devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, it’s possible to watch any TV show anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Not only that, but even regionally blocked content such as shows on HBO UK can be viewed in other countries thanks to VPN’s and proxy servers.

We’re Watching More TV

According to Neilsen, people are still watching live TV today more than ever before. Given the vast amount of shows available to be watched on television today these figures are unsurprising, even though it can be said that not many people today actually have that much time to devote to watching television. On average, we are watching around just under four hours of television per day which is an almost half hour increase when compared with television viewing habits in 2006.

The News is More Popular Amongst the Young

Thanks to social media, more and more young people are taking an interest in the news. Although figures suggest that young people tend to get information regarding the news predominantly from social media, this has caused an increase in the number of young people who will use the television to watch the news from time to time.

App Engagement

With 55% of smartphone owners and 61% of tablet owners using at least one television related application at least once a month, technology has seen mobile consumption of video rapidly increase. The use of TV apps is redefining how we watch television, and makes TV shows and movies readily available on the move. Apps such as Netflix are available on most popular smartphone and tablet operating systems, and enable viewers to view content on their device wherever they are. Along with this, a new generation of Smart TV’s also implement the use of apps so that viewers can access streaming content straight from their television set.


What started out almost 15 years ago as a DVD subscription service, Netflix has taken advantage of constant improvements in internet speeds and rapid technology development to become one of the most successful and prominent content distribution networks. Netflix isn’t only changing the way that we watch television, but it’s also revolutionizing the way that it is made. Gone are the days of browsing the DVD rental shops for a movie to watch, as logging onto your Netflix account will provide you with a list of movies and television shows that you’ll probably like based on your previous activity. Netflix knows which genres you like to watch and which performers are your favorites, making it simple and easy to find television content that you’ll love.

What are your thoughts on how the way we watch television has changed? What are your favorite ways to watch television content? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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