Live TV

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Lyle links to an article that states:

Most TV viewing in households with personal video recorders such as Sky+ is still live and “traditional scheduled TV will be around for a long time yet”, according to new research.

We’ve had Sky+ for over a year now, and having finally switched my viewing habits to incorporate it’s features I wouldn’t go back if you paid me. The ability to pause a programme is worth it’s weight in gold, and with the recent addition of a “remind me” function for some programmes it’s a matter of two button pushes to record a future programme (the “remind me” function appears during trailers, hit red then “record” and Sky+ will take care of it for you). The series link is also invaluable as it figures out when the next episode of a series is on, and automatically sets it to record (even if it shift times).

So what you end up with, fairly quickly, is a set of pre-recorded programmes that YOU chose from the available channels. Your own little TV station.

That’s not to say we don’t watch ‘live’ TV anymore, but I think that depends on your viewing habits in general. I hardly watch any ‘live’ TV other than sports and news whereas my better half will watch TV of an evening and channel surf to find something to watch. The only stuff we record, typically, is stuff we’d both watch. So I don’t think watching ‘live’ TV is going to go away but I would expect to see a long-term shift. Whether or not the TV companies are looking that far ahead is disputable, especially as they still seem concerned about whether adverts will still be viable in the future.

After all, would you CHOOSE to watch adverts?

Our usage of Sky+ is governed, for the meantime, by the capacity of our current box. If it was larger I’d be much more prone to recording things “just in case” and wouldn’t mind them lying around on the machine until I had time to watch them. With that in mind, it would mean recording, say, Frasier every night, and skipping the adverts every time. The bigger the capacity, the less the chance I’d watch ‘live’ TV (including sports), and the fewer adverts I’d see.

What the TV companies need to do is come up with a viable alternative that suits ME. Add in the complication of downloads (particularly of US shows) and the whole picture becomes much more usage focussed. Power to the people (consumer)?