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TV Ownership Declines For Second Time Since 1970 349

Posted by samzenpus
from the blow-up-your-tv dept.
bs0d3 writes "Almost every year, the estimated number of U.S. households owning TV sets goes up. Until now. This year, for the second time since 1970, TV ownership has gone down; by about 1%. TV ownership among the key adult 18-49 demo also declined even steeper, down 2.7 percent and percentage of homes without a TV is at the highest level since 1975. The reasons behind this appear to be online media content and the recession."
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TV Ownership Declines For Second Time Since 1970

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  • by Mean Variance (913229) <mean.variance@gmail.com> on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:01PM (#38232966)

    An oldie but timeless.

    Man doesn't own a TV [theonion.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by garcia (6573)

      I own two TVs. I use one for DVDs, Netflix Instant, and OTA NFL games. The other is collecting dust in my bedroom, I really should have it recycled.

      So while I own them, I don't watch much TV--at least not until it shows up on Instant. Because of that, and because of everyone else being totally obsessed with TV, it is very hard not to point out that I have no fucking clue what they're talking about when they tell me about "New Show 131". If you just nod your head and pretend they catch on quickly and ask "WT

      • by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlieNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:26PM (#38233162) Homepage

        I own two TVs. I use one for DVDs, Netflix Instant, and OTA NFL games. The other is collecting dust in my bedroom, I really should have it recycled.

        So while I own them, I don't watch much TV--at least not until it shows up on Instant. Because of that, and because of everyone else being totally obsessed with TV, it is very hard not to point out that I have no fucking clue what they're talking about when they tell me about "New Show 131". If you just nod your head and pretend they catch on quickly and ask "WTF?"

        You're an idiot either way for not watching the "idiot box." :(

        There's two TVs in this household too, but both are only used as display devices for PlayStation 3, PC and my tablet. None of them are used for watching actual TV - shows or such. Why? Because most of what is there is just plain crap and more annoying than entertaining. Watching TV is a terribly passive experience so if I'm going to sit down and just stare at the screen then I atleast expect it to be worth my time. Alas, if there even is a good TV show going it's always pushed to really late hours, it's shown only once a week, and there's only ever at most one, single good show running at any given time. Never more than one.

        • by garcia (6573)

          I guess I should have said I have it hooked up to a console device and I wouldn't have been modded into oblivion.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 01, 2011 @08:47PM (#38233754)

            No, you were modded to oblivion because you came off as a douche in the post. The reason The Onion story in the GPP that you replied to was funny, is because the guy in the article is a smug asshole which seems stereotypical for people who claim to not watch TV.

            Because of that, and because of everyone else being totally obsessed with TV, it is very hard not to point out that I have no fucking clue what they're talking about when they tell me about "New Show 131". If you just nod your head and pretend they catch on quickly and ask "WTF?"

            You're an idiot either way for not watching the "idiot box." :(

            It is understandable that you seem frustrated that people talk about shows you don't care about. Many people feel that way, but the tone of disdain in the message makes you come off as smarmy prick. That is why you were modded down, not because you don't play games.

        • by Kjella (173770)

          Because of that, and because of everyone else being totally obsessed with TV, it is very hard not to point out that I have no fucking clue what they're talking about when they tell me about "New Show 131". If you just nod your head and pretend they catch on quickly and ask "WTF?". You're an idiot either way for not watching the "idiot box." :(

          Heh, I used to be the other way around... "Saw the first episode of $show last night, was really good." "Oh, what channel does that run on?" "Humm... it aired in the US last week, not sure if anyone here sends it." or "Damn, season 3 of $show rocks/sucks!" "Umm, aren't we on season 2?" "Maybe you are..." Fortunately "I couldn't wait" is a socially accepted excuse among fans everywhere. Not to mention it seems to become more and more common, I find there's more and more people I can talk to about episodes I

        • Before the analog to digital conversion, I had 5 TV sets in the house. But I couldn't afford/justify the expense of replacing them all so I only bought 2 digital sets.

          Now, over a year later, I don't miss the other 3 and have no plans to replace them.

      • by LoudMusic (199347)

        You're an idiot either way for not watching the "idiot box." :(

        Not in my book. The way I see it, you're a fucking hero. Keep up the good work.

      • While broadcast and cable TV may be down in viewership the decline in TV sets probably has more to do with saturation. Pretty much everyone has a TV whether it's used for games, internet video, traditional shows or collecting dust. People are still staring at screens a lot, it is just now connected to a general purpose computer and it's not called a TV.
      • by datavirtue (1104259) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @11:37PM (#38234656)

        I own one TV but only use it for watching movies via DVD. I have no cable or reception since I opted out of the digital receiver conversion thingy. I haven't had TV since. It is actually like breaking a drug addiction. You always think about it and wish you could tun on the news, but I know I'm better off without it. I only watched PBS before ditching it anyway, which is OK. The real issue isn't the recession OR streaming, it is a lack of notable or appropriate content. Seriously, all the network stuff was trash. When I did switch off PBS to another channel it wasn't for long.

        • by 1u3hr (530656)

          You always think about it and wish you could tun on the news

          TV is purely for entertainment.

          I remember when I was in primary school, the teacher asked us some questions about "current affairs" and asked if we watched the news . I said I didn't, because it was boring, for which I was sneered at. Then he proceeded to ask some questions about specific issues in the news, which I answered. He asked how I could know that if I hadn't watched the news. I replied that I read the newspaper every day. To which he was silent.

          I wasn't being a smartarse, I just had never consid

    • by mrmeval (662166)

      I don't own a TV. Last year sometime I had to stay in a Motel and did not have a laptop or smart enough phone so was stuck watching TV.

      I was inundated in all it's excremental glory. During a 1 hr movie I was presented with 20 minutes of commercials from the TV network along with slide ups, drip downs, splats and other crap slathered over top of the show I was trying to watch all the while the cable company had an annoying bar at the bottom harassing me to buy merchandise that had nothing to do with the demo

    • by djl4570 (801529) on Friday December 02, 2011 @12:15AM (#38234806) Journal
      Back in 1982 the TV I owned died. I did without for a few years and didn't miss it. During that time I read lots of books and high quality magazines such as Parabola and Verbatim. Guests thought I was weird because I would leave back issues on the top of the toilet. I finally bought a small portable in 1986 so I could stop telling people I didn't own a TV. I wonder if the advent of entertainment media in the technological age is why SETI has failed to detect any signals. We are trapped by a vast wasteland of programming that is crap. Otherwise healthy minds zone out and atrophy while sucking on the glass teat. Perhaps alien cultures fell into the same trap. First it was television, then video games, then internet porn, then blogs and more porn and finally pontificating on Order 66 at Wookipedia. If I could do one thing over in my life it would be to get rid of the television when I was in grade school.
    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Friday December 02, 2011 @03:31AM (#38235368) Journal

      Funny but I've found at least when it comes to the cableco my experience is quite the opposite, in that while I personally don't mention the fact that I don't own a TV the girls at the desk mention it constantly when i walk in. There always seems to be a new girl there and the others are like "That's the guy that doesn't own a TV" and the new girl is ALWAYS like "No, really, you have at least one, right? What do you mean no?" and when i point out that while I do have a capture card in my desktop I frankly haven't fired it up since 2009 the look I get, its just shock.

      The hilarious part is the thing that seems to cause them vaporlock is NOT the fact that I don't actually own a set so much as I don't watch reality television which I swear the way they react I have to wonder if there is some hidden signal in that tripe that makes people addicted to that shit. Frankly I do NOT care who got voted off some island, or who was voted the best at singing some crappy old song and I sure the fuck don't want to watch anything called a Snooki. And when did the world start caring about such things? did I miss a memo again?

  • Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:02PM (#38232970)

    Perhaps because everything on TV now is absolutely shite.

    • Re:Or... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:29PM (#38233180) Homepage Journal

      Perhaps because everything on TV now is absolutely shite.

      Or it starts out good, but then they beat it to death.

      Sponsors pay for the shows and should be demanding better, but then they go and try propping up something like the Simpsons for a couple decades because it's a safe bet for viewer share.

      Can't win for losing.

      • Re:Or... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by antifoidulus (807088) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:36PM (#38233238) Homepage Journal
        But increased "sponsor time" is at least in part to blame for the declining quality, esp. of comedy shows in my opinion. When the Simpsons started, they had two and half minutes, or roughly 10% more show time per episode than they do now. The extra time gave the writers more of a chance to better pace out their jokes and had time for better B and C stories. Some of the funniest Simpsons moments are the B and C stories, but there is no way any of those could have stretched into a full story. Part of the reason I think they do some of the extended couch gags nowadays is that the A story isn't enough to fill the whole episode, but whereas in the past they would have had enough time to do a good B story, now they are forced to make up the gap using a couch gag as there is no way they could fit the B story into the time allotted.
        • by DragonHawk (21256) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @09:12PM (#38233900) Homepage Journal

          "Television [network] companies are not in the business of delivering television programmes to their audience; they're in the business of delivering audiences to their advertisers." -- Douglas Adams

          (From "What Have We Got To Lose?"; first appearance in Wired UK #1, 1995; reprinted in The Salmon of Doubt)

          • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday December 02, 2011 @02:15AM (#38235162) Journal

            The BBC has cheerfully dived into the abyss for years nows, farting upwards to accelerate its descend. Want to see what a thousand TV cooks look like? Just turn on the beeb. It will show you.

            They even got so desperate that when they finally do manage to get a program that people watch, they run repeats off it during the same WEEK. QI, QI repeat and QI XL. Same with Have I Got News For You. Oh and both programs are now in double digits. Not because they are that fresh anymore but because there is absolutely nothing else that has the slightest appeal anymore. This all despite the fact people can rewatch it on the BBC iPlayer... what better way to advertise you don't have any content worth watching then repeating the same half hour program 3 times and adding material you left out the first time on the third run. Oh and then repeat the entire running between this season and the next.

            And all this crap, without any advertisers.

            If you don't believe me that cooking shows are out of control, they got a cooking game show that when it ends, immidiatly starts up again. There is no end to it.

            And if it isn't cooking then it is some lightweight back into history program that glorifies everything and examines nothing.

    • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nomel (244635) <turdNO@SPAMinorbit.com> on Thursday December 01, 2011 @08:17PM (#38233548) Homepage Journal

      They're talking about the physical device, not the content.

      I have a "TV", but I use it as a large monitor for my computer. The only difference between a large "computer screen" and "TV" with hdmi and vga ports these days is an integrated tuner and less emphasis on things like color accuracy.

      I think their numbers are going to get more and more meaningless as time goes on.

      • by tepples (727027)

        The only difference between a large "computer screen" and "TV" with hdmi and vga ports these days is an integrated tuner and less emphasis on things like color accuracy.

        That and being big enough to fit several people around. A "computer screen" still has to fit on a desk, possibly the same desk that once held a 17".

    • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mirix (1649853) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @08:32PM (#38233660)

      The commercials. Jesus Christ. When I very rarely watch live TV (say, at a friends house), I'm shocked by the amount of advertisements. How did people ever let themselves become subject to such shit?

      I watch a few shows that I DL, and listen to public radio, if I listen to radio. Adblock on the web. Advertising is still stupidly pervasive, even with all that... Why would I pay to watch it?

      • by Macgrrl (762836)

        I still listen to commercial radio, but haven't watch live-to-air TV in I don't know how long, a number of years. We mostly consume TV shows via DVDs or downloads.

        I see far more print advertisements (in the mail box, the free commuter newspaper and the local broadhseet's webpage) than any other source.

      • There are still people who think that piracy might end up with them on the receiving end of a lawsuit. Really rich people don't care, and poor people won't be much bothered. But someone who makes $100k/year has a lot to lose and yet not enough resources to avoid being hurt badly by an adverse judgement.
      • and remember when Congress was going to do something about loud commericals? I SAID, REMEMBER WHEN...
    • Re:Or... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @08:50PM (#38233774) Journal
      Where I live, there are still a couple of good current affairs programs, and I find that lately there have been a couple of very good series (most notably from HBO). TV isn't all shite... but some years ago I've discovered that watching TV live (not live tv) is an utterly rubbish experience. Well, I didn't really discover it; it's just that before PVRs made time-shifting practical and easy, there was no real alternative to viewing everything as it was broadcast. That meant wasting time channel surfing, waiting for your favourite show to come on, and sitting through endless, repetitive commercial breaks... I can't imagine how people were/are able to handle that crap.

      I still watch a fair amount of TV, but it's all time-shifted. I can download the series I want to watch, and most of our TV channels have a rather good service for watching their shows of the past few weeks on-line. And I still own a TV to watch it all on.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Have a look at all the adult fans of My Little Pony:Friendship is Magic. I watched some of it, and yes, it's aimed at 6 year olds, but within those limits on content and language, it's actually got characterisation and plots that make sense within the logic of the show world.
      What does it say about modern television when a cartoon for 6 year olds is less condescending and intellectually insulting than the huge array of shows that are allegedly made for my demographic?

  • by unity100 (970058) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:03PM (#38232976) Homepage Journal
    'If it sold, rinse and repeat it' -> the same principle corporations employ in everywhere else including game sector is employed the same in tv sector for a long time now. so, we get shows that are repetitions of each other, totally geared towards keeping high ratings than viewer satisfaction nomatter what the cost in the long run (hence shows like american idol), creative talent getting tired (writers) of having to produce content too frequent and starting mold-cast repetitions and ...... you get the idea.

    Thats also a reason why there is so much piracy. Shit is not even worth paying cents. There is so few content that actually is worth it, and they are being bundled with 100s of useless crap in order to bump up prices and sell everything over those few shows. A good example is sports broadcasts (only for popular sports though) -> bundle sports broadcasts with 100s of shitty channels and sell people. they will have to buy it for sports from those exaggerated prices. or, a few quality shows - all the same format. NO different than how music industry has been selling us albums containing sub-par 12 songs bundled with chart topper 2 songs for the last 2 decades.

    Natural result of profit maximization of capitalist system - maximization eventually results in trying to achieve maximum possible profit with minimum effort in shortest amount of time, and you end up getting 'crap' as the product.
  • How about the idea that, by and large, the shows on TV are painful to watch?

    Seriously, how people can subject themselves to the crap on TV now a days boggles my mind.

    • by skids (119237)

      I don't think that's it. A TV is still usually owned for use with a DVD collection.

      One thing I think they might have missed is that a lot of people who gave up watching TV just happened to technically "own" one, but since it was analog and not on cable, they finally got around to throwing it out when digital RF broadcasting made their sets incompatible and they didn't want to bother with getting the free gubment receiver.

      There were a few months not so long ago where there was a TV out on the curb every few

  • Reasoning (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dcray2000 (969850) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:09PM (#38233012)
    What's required to be on modern TV
    - Be as cheap as possible and thus totally suck
    - Continue previous statement, but add shocking situations or violence
    - Tell a story that induces anger about everything that's wrong with the world
    - Have a panel of judges review the performance of yet another reality star
    - Cook something you will never eat, or see, or see before you eat
    - Watch fat people get skinny

    What's banned from modern TV
    - Good Science Fiction or Fantasy (you know what I mean)
    - Truly deep and telling story lines that make you think about the wonderous possbilities
    - Show all the good things that are happening 100 feet outside your door 5,000 times more often than the bad

    ... I can't imagine why people don't have a TV.
    • Person of Interest
      Terra Nova
      Lost Girl
      Grimm

      • by bloodhawk (813939) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:31PM (#38233188)
        He had already mentioned good sci fi and fantasy as being absent, no need to give examples of some of the current truly cringeworthy crap they are trying to push.
      • No. That's not good fantasy at all. Give me a break. It's just the same thing as "The Fugitive".

        You're watching "The Littlest Hobo" but with a succubus instead of a german shepherd.

        I've been trying to watch Terra Nova to try to support some Sci-Fi, but I just can't be interested in the characters anymore. I feel I am letting the show down, but I also can't just waste my time if I don't enjoy it.

      • Person of Interest - Garbage.
        Terra Nova - Just couldn't get into it. Don't know why.
        Lost Girl - Never seen this.
        Grimm - I have every episode recorded on my DVR, I just haven't bothered to start watching it and decide if I should continue recording them or drop it.

        Better shows to check out:
        Doctor Who
        Big Bang Theory

        That's about it.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      One thing you missed - engage in some topical issue in a completely tawdry and unconvincing way, like you expect when the lesbian couple announce they want to get married there's the unexclaimed 'Dun dun DUNNN!' hanging in the air, rather than let's really examine some real situations, rather than the oversimplified, dumbed down way so much writing is now.

    • Re:Reasoning (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eulernet (1132389) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @08:10PM (#38233496)

      You forgot:

      - Always use a pessimistic point of view. Happiness doesn't drive audience.
      - Use cheap emotions whenever possible. No emotions except sadness or joy are allowed.
      - Hire fake audience to represent your audience in your poor shows, and make them laugh when you need (remember Pavlov ?).
      - Give random (poor) people access to the american dream, by giving them shiny objects.
      - Explain with lots of details terrible crimes. Morbid fascination everywhere.
      - Let people believe that possessing objects lead to happiness, and do that every minute, to be sure that they won't forget (ads).
      - Always paint the world in white and black (if possible black). Never use another color, it's too disturbing.

      • by gman003 (1693318)

        - Hire fake audience to represent your audience in your poor shows, and make them laugh when you need (remember Pavlov ?).

        Oddly, I seem to have developed Pavlovian conditioning such that, anytime I hear canned laughter, I push the off button on the remote. Wonder how that developed...

        • by cbhacking (979169)

          Agreed. I would really, *really* like to give The Big Bang Theory a try. A lot of my friends recommend it, and in transcriptions or summaries, a lot of it sounds fantastic.

          Then I hear a laugh track, and I turn it off immediately. Who the hell wants to hear that?!?

    • - Tell a story that induces anger about everything that's wrong with the world

      That's not true, they learned long ago that people buy into more shit when they're happy and distracted, where all experienced controversy is safely insulated from any parallel to the real world. All the shows with mass appeal that really say what's wrong with the world, like The Daily Show and The Simpsons, are funny.

      Even the so-called "news" is nothing but distraction. Hey, don't pay attention to Rome burning around you, an attractive blonde girl was abducted in some state you don't live in or care ab

    • Ok, so its not screening at the moment, but Game of Thrones is in production with the second book atm...

    • by droptone (798379)
      Currently running or in production: Game of Thrones, Homeland, Louie, Boardwalk Empire and Breaking Bad (I can't personally vouch for it, but a lot of people whom I respect love it so I am quite confident that it is worth your time if you're remotely interested in watching good TV).

      Ran in recent memory: The Wire (might be too pessimistic for your tastes but excellent nonetheless), The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Freaks and Geeks and Battlestar Galactica.

      If you're interested in comedies then there are mounds
  • by Meshach (578918) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:13PM (#38233050)
    I wonder how much of a correlation there is between people watching the television and the number of people who view a given program? Just because the TV numbers are down does not mean people are not watching the show online, on their phones, in a pub...
  • by demonbug (309515) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:14PM (#38233062) Journal

    First they took our jobs, now they are taking our TV sets!

  • On the plus side (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nightfire-unique (253895) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:17PM (#38233090)

    This can only be good news for North American politics. Die, TV, die!

  • Not Watching TV... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:17PM (#38233092) Homepage Journal

    The shows which have appealed to me had dwindled to a few.

    Then there was one.

    Then there were none.

    Television has become so many over-hyped, insipid or worn out shows. Last show I watched was 60 Minutes. Now if I can remember, it's on the radio. My television hasn't been turned on in 10 years. I used a TV card in my computer for a while. Now I read books, watch movies or get the few DVDs of shows which really were worth watching and view them in my own good time sans commercials.

    I get antsy when TV shows are on, like I'm being bombarded with some some radiation and want to get up and out of the way. Probably something to do with writing. Something else to do with horrible actors - we don't have many quality actors, so many are there because they are young, look good or were comedians. Few really can act. I feel the combination of watching people terrible at the craft, mixed with uninteresting writing have failed to keep my attention. No problem finding things to do with the time, though.

  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:22PM (#38233132) Homepage Journal
    ... that indeed, there is nothing worth watching on broadcast TV. Cable is the easiest bill to cut out entirely, and would be the first I would axe completely if I lost my job (and of course that same demographic is also very much impacted by the crappy economy and high unemployment).
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:22PM (#38233134) Homepage Journal
    In addition to watching shows online, the ability to easily connect the XBox 360 and PS3 to a computer monitor has to be having a dampening effect on TV sales, esp. among the young. For less than $200, I can get a 23" LCD monitor that I can connect to my laptop for computing and watching shows online, and can connect to my console for gaming. Why on earth then would I want a TV, especially if I am living in a dorm or small apartment where space is at a premium?
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      In addition to watching shows online, the ability to easily connect the XBox 360 and PS3 to a computer monitor has to be having a dampening effect on TV sales, esp. among the young. For less than $200, I can get a 23" LCD monitor that I can connect to my laptop for computing and watching shows online, and can connect to my console for gaming. Why on earth then would I want a TV, especially if I am living in a dorm or small apartment where space is at a premium?

      You want a TV so you can hook it up to cable and they can keep track of what you watch, so mysteriously you receive advertising in the mail tailored to your profile.

      DHS probably monitoring it, too, in case it turns out unstable people or terrorists favor particular shows.

  • I just about abandoned network TV about 15 years ago and I used to be teased mercilessly for being a gamer while everyone else was sitting on their couch watching crappy TV shows. Now, the general public is partaking in the much better entertainment options online. I bet half the time my TV is on is just for background noise when I'm doing something else.

  • by mad-seumas (59267) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:28PM (#38233174)

    Household that do not own a TV set? Or households that own a TV set but don't have cable, OTA tv? In our case we dropped cable several years ago, still have OTA TV thanks to an antenna on the roof of our condo, but consume the vast majority of content through a computer hooked to the TV. So we own a TV, but according to Neilsen's rules maybe we don't own a TV? Maybe we just own a huge monitor? Maybe we don't qualify to be a Nielsen Family so we don't count?

  • by monopole (44023) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:29PM (#38233182)

    I haven't looked at a TV transmission in over a year, I only happen to have 2 monitors that incorporate receivers, cancelled cable over 5 years ago.

    I either watch DVDs or streaming video. I do have a lovely home theater arrangement, with little or no time to watch it.

    TV hit the point of diminishing returns a decade ago.

    • I have my 10 year old rear-projection TV up for sale on Craigslist, since I don't watch shows on it any more. I had cut the TV portion of my Comcast subscription down to basic, since for some reason its a few dollars less for Internet + basic cable than for just internet. This year that is changing, and now internet by itself is a bit less, so out goes the TV part. Any shows I want to see I can download, without commercials, and watch when I want. That's a better product than broadcast, which is when th

  • by Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:34PM (#38233212)
    18-40 is a pretty broad demographic.
  • I wonder how many of those remaining TVs are just "monitors" for consoles. I know people that have a TV to play their PS3/360/Wii on, but never really watch stuff on it.

    I am one of those people without TVs, and one reason I stick with my DS instead of home consoles is that I don't have to bother with a TV, and a bunch of cables, etc. just for games.

  • What is a TV? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bent Mind (853241) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:47PM (#38233342)
    After glancing at the article, I have to ask, what is a TV? From the article:

    a few factors that could be at play, including more people watching TV shows online

    So that tells me that a TV is not a video unit capable of displaying television shows. Perhaps they are referring to those old all-in-one units that had a television decoder built into the display? I have a 42-inch plasma display connected to a computer and home network. It is primarily used to view NetFlix, Hulu, and some light gaming. I also have a DTV tuner in a different computer on the same network. It can send video out to about ten other computers scattered around the house. Not a single display in the house has an integrated tuner. Does that mean I have zero televisions, or ten?

    On a side note, I do laugh when I read Hulu's message that the current program is not viewable on televisions, then proceeds to display the show on my television.

  • I can understand the trend. Realistically, most of whats online is simply more entertaining and a better way to spend my time. I don't see myself getting rid of my TV anytime soon as there are still a few shows that I watch, but usually there's only one running show at a time that I actually watch (right now only "The Walking Dead").

    • I can understand the trend.

      To what trend are you referring? The only trend illustrated in the rather short article is that TV ownership has been increasing over the past 16 years (as well as the past 40)! Two points do not define a trend.

      The story refers to a slight drop in estimated per-household television ownership from 2011 to 2012, plus the fact that the increase from 2010 to 2011 was less than in previous years - that's all.

  • by westlake (615356) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @08:15PM (#38233530)
    For those who never RTFA:

    Meanwhile the rich get richer:

    Homes with three or more TV sets will climb a notch to 56 percent.

    UPDATE A Nielsen rep, after seeing media stories reacting to their report and chart, emailed to clarify that TV ownership has actually declined once before: In 1992, "after Nielsen adjusted for the 1990 Census, and subsequently underwent a period of significant growth."

    or the articles it links to:

    So, my story (below) about six-month-old Nielsen data has so far been picked up by the New York Post and Pat's Papers.

    TV technologies on their way up include DVRs, which Nielsen estimates will be in 41 percent of homes in 2012, digital cable (51 percent) and HDTV (67 percent).

    Also upticking: houses with three or more TV sets (56 percent) and time the average household spends in front of the tube or flat screen: a record 59 hours 28 minutes of TV watching per week.

    Despite earlier reports that suggested people were unplugging, cable and satellite TV use has remained rock-steady in homes with TV (90 percent versus 10 percent of homes using rabbit ears).

    For first time in history, TV ownership declines [kansascity.com]

    These blog posts are a few paragraphs long and don't link to the Nielson report itself.

    I would have liked to have had a look at regional and ethnic distribution --- our local cable service has gone multiingual and multicultural in a very big way.

    There are a lot of ways to feed media to that big screen HDTV --- if you can afford (and have access to) digital cable, broadband Internet service, the video game console, the Roku set top box, and so on.

    I haven't seen a shortage of programs worth watching. The problem is finding a program that everyone in the family wants to watch together.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 01, 2011 @08:26PM (#38233606)

    Apparently it's not about the 1%ers, because 56% of us are rich:

    "Meanwhile the rich get richer: Homes with three or more TV sets will climb a notch to 56 percent."

    WTF?

  • This season, there are two spinoffs of "Storage Wars" - "Pawn Stars" and "American Pickers". That's how bad it's become.

    The only time I see broadcast TV is at the gym. (They have basic cable, which seems to consist mostly of broadcast TV, shopping, and really old reruns.)

  • I'm really not interested enough in regular television to purchase one. What shows I am interested in, usually show up on Netflix and Hulu, both of which I can (and do) watch on my computer. It made more sense to just buy a larger monitor.
  • How do you define "TV"?

    If you mean a display device with a tuner built into it, then there are two in my house (old CRTs), neither connected to cable.

    If you mean a display device that can be used to display content regardless of a tuner (such as via the Internet), then I have 12, not counting cell phones/iPods. (7 LCDs, three laptops, two CRTs)

    If you mean a display device with a coaxial cable or antenna connection that is actively used for watching sat/cable/ota broadcasts, it would be a bit fuzzy in my cas

  • by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlieNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Thursday December 01, 2011 @08:55PM (#38233816) Homepage

    This may not directly relate to the article itself, but how about trying to be a little bit constructive here instead of only offering criticism? What kinds of TV-shows or series do you view as being worth watching, worth your time? Are there some that you'd feel others might also enjoy and thus you'd like to recommend them?

    I personally do not have any specific genre that I enjoy as I can watch mostly anything, it's the flow of the story and the believability of the characters and their actions that matters the most. Then again, as I watch movies most of the time and not TV-series I don't really have all that much experience on that field. I still do offer two recommendations that I personally feel that are definitely worth watching, and if you can afford it, they're sure worth owning, too:

    * Breaking Bad: A high-school chemistry teacher in his 50s hears he has a lung cancer, realizes he has been an under-performer his whole life and wishes to be able to leave his family with means to get by even if he isn't no longer supporting them financially, and derails completely and decides to take part in meth-cooking business.
    * Walking Dead: As if the name isn't already descriptive enough or anything, but, well, a small-town sheriff gets shot, is taken to hospital, is unconcious for some time only to wake up to a seemingly empty hospital and the rest of the town either empty or trying to eat him. From there, it's only downhill!

    • by Phrogman (80473)

      I agree about mentioning the good stuff on TV these days. Unfortunately it makes up about 1% of all the content currently being pushed out at us. I prefer to buy shows like this on DVD or download them, then at least I get the full show, and I am spared the endless advertising breaks. IMHO its the onslaught of advertising that is driving people from TV.

      * Sons of Anarchy - the trials and tribulations of the members of a motorcycle gang in California. Its kind of soap opera-ish, but its got some great charact

    • What kinds of TV-shows or series do you view as being worth watching, worth your time?

      "Victory at Sea" wasn't half bad.

  • by Hadlock (143607) on Thursday December 01, 2011 @09:21PM (#38233972) Homepage Journal

    I was watching an old episode of Star Trek: TNG (on netflix... on a computer!) and they had revived some cryogenically frozen people from the year 2000 who were shocked that nobody watched TV anymore. One of the cast members explained to them gently that TV had been a entertainment fad, and died out as a passtime by 2040.
     
    I'm sure TV audiences watching Star Trek in the late 80s who had grown up on a healthy diet of 4 hours a night of TV found that hard to believe, or impossible even. Looking back twenty years, it is looking more prophetic than ever.

    • by cashman73 (855518)
      I was watching an old episode of Star Trek: TNG (on netflix... on a computer!) and they had revived some cryogenically frozen people from the year 2000 who were shocked that nobody watched TV anymore. One of the cast members explained to them gently that TV had been a entertainment fad, and died out as a passtime by 2040.

      To be fair, if we had HoloDecks today, I wouldn't watch any TV, either,. . . ;-)

  • ...when you add in "home entertainment centers"?

  • that viewership habits are regressing? Instead of the whole family having their own TVs in separate rooms, maybe more households probably have one TV for everything and that more people are watching together.

    More likely it's the fact that TV isn't just on TV anymore. It's possible to download or transfer from DVR shows nearly just as soon as they've aired. They can then be watched on any myriad device from a netbook to a smartphone.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..." -- Isaac Asimov

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