Impact Of Technology Essay

1300 words - 6 pages

From a consumer standpoint, there are two major drawbacks of the current television model: a lack of flexibility and the potential for clutter. Cable and satellite services are usually structured as a packaged deal featuring a multitude of channels and programming. While access to more content may be desirable in some ways, most consumers have very specific tastes regarding what they want, thereby rendering most of the channels they subscribe to worthless. Additionally, cable limits the consumer to only watching shows on their television sets and at a specific time.
This was not an issue in the past. Even the ability to skip through commercials on recorded programs with DVR can still be ...view middle of the document...

Television is still an integral part of America’s daily entertainment, with a television penetration level of 95.8% of households. There are two interesting caveats to this statistic, however. First, while still exceptionally high, this number is slowly but continuously declining. More telling though is that of the 75% of the remaining households that are not considered traditional television households, still owns a TV. This conveys that even through their over-the-top device, DVD player, or gaming console, they are still engaging with their television.
Gaming consoles are an especially fast-growing platform for online streaming. Regardless of how convenient it is to stream programs, the experience of watching TV is simply not the same on a 15-inch laptop screen through headphones as it is on a 42-inch plasma with surround sound. It is easy to circumvent this simply by plugging in one’s laptop to the television set via an HDMI cable. However in an age of growing impatience and desire for convenience, even this seemingly simple task is viewed as a hassle. The biggest obvious advantage for the use of gaming consoles is that they can connect to the Internet, providing them with the crucial first step of being able to access the online video libraries of Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and the rest. Second, there is an established base of users who already use gaming consoles – especially in the 18-34 demographic. 39% of homes own ‘7th Generation Gaming Consoles’, i.e. consoles that streams video. These include Nintendo’s Wii, Microsoft’s Xbox 360, and Sony’s PlayStation 3.
Access to these additional streaming services requires a monthly subscription fee in the region of $15 paid to the console owner – however this gives one access to bonus gaming features, including all internet-enabled content. It does not require an additional fee to Netflix or any of the streaming platforms themselves. It is unlikely the additional fee will prove to be much of a deterrent, when taking into account the vast array of options the subscription opens up. Another major revolution to the streaming industry has been the introduction of Roku, a product that is similar to a set-top box that resembles what cable providers offer. What makes Roku different is that it operates entirely by the way of the Internet, and is structured as channels. Content is provided by Roku Partners, which includes a combination of established networks and independent users – similar to YouTube. Roku has over 150 free channels – with offerings as diverse as CNBC, TED Talks, Disney.com, Rutgers University channel, Amazing Facts, and Fandango. It also features a variety of premium services, including Netflix and HBO Go. Users can add and remove channels as they see fit, and will only pay for what they watched. Roku merges the key elements of high quality programming and access to a...

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