Case Study: Heading straight to the PC for TV

May 6, 2009

plug1As we’ve noted in the past,  several people are choosing to head straight to the PC for their TV content.  By now, you’re understanding the hype.

StreamingMedia also reported on this topic and chose to highlight two different people who are now relying solely on online video for their news and entertainment.  We thought their stories, albeit different, were compelling and extremely relate-able.  Here is what they had to say:

Kimberly, is a young medical student, which due to her busy schedule, was not able to frequently catch her favorite shows on TV. Here she further notes why she prefers TV on the PC:

She simply finds that online TV fits her life better. She can see the few programs she enjoys whenever she wants. While she’s considered getting a Netflix account, enough of her friends have one that it satisfies her need for occasional movies. Several of her friends have also made the switch to solely streaming video, and she thinks that young people are more willing to give up regular TV.

The second person interviewed is Luis, a family man looking for a cheap way to watch TV on his terms, turned to watching TV on the PC.  Once his family chose to go online-video only, he noted that the added effort to find streamed content encouraged his kids to watch less television and be more active, where as before they could just sit on the couch, turn on the TV and be tuned out. Here is what Luis had to say about his experiences watching TV on the PC:

“I don’t really plan on going back (to be a TV subscriber). If we did, it wouldn’t be for me; it would probably come from either my kids or my wife, but they seem fine, too…”

To further elaborate on the growing trend of watching TV on the PC, The Bulletin, a local Oregonian paper, noted a good stat:

  • Forrester Research released a report in January noting that while cable and satellite providers reach roughly 100 million homes in the U.S., computer-based television viewing is growing, driven largely by adults ages 18 to 34 who like to watch content when and where they choose.

What do you think? Now that we’ve shared the story of Kimberly and Luis, now let’s hear your story. Are you watching more TV on the PC? Busy schedule, finances?

Photo courtesy of The Bulletin

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Opinions from NYC on the Future TV

April 30, 2009

We found this great video from BusinessWeek that interviewed locals in New York to see what they considered “The Future of Television.”

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Interestingly, their answers similarly mirrored that of our TV on your PC “Man on the Street” video that we compiled a few weeks ago.

Everyone from the media to TV junkies are sitting back and watching the evolution of television unfold. Despite the recession, we’re finding that people are no longer just settling for traditional cable as they are choosing to upgrade to more premium services (on-demand, DVR, etc.) People want quality entertainment and most importantly, they want it at their leisure.

With our busy schedules, many viewers don’t have time to watch things at the programmed hour, so with the help of bonus features, watching our favorite shows and series will never be an issue. We’ve seen commentary from people noting that since they’ve made content and entertainment on their terms, they’ve found more time to spend with their families and focus on other things outside of the television.

On the flip side, for some who have chosen to stray away from traditional cable, they have also decided to eliminate the TV altogether and focus all their attention to the computer. People are now choosing to watch their TV on the PC by means of online video sites. What better way to multi-task then to check email, blog and correspond while watching your favorite shows?

To better prove this point, we’ll reference one of our TV on your PC sports club members who noted that…

“Over the last two years the DVR has saved my butt plenty of times, especially when my kids or wife are in the room. There really is nothing like being able to go back and watch what you’ve missed.”

As we see all these new offerings and services becoming available, the evolution of television will never be the same.

Check it out, let us know your thoughts. Do you agree with these predictions? What do you consider to be the future of TV?">


TV on the PC: Convenient for NHL Fans

April 21, 2009

hanzal-me-smallWhat’s the solution to generating more local media coverage of your favorite sports team if your hometown paper won’t? If you’re Travis Hair, then it’s starting a dedicated sports blog.

Naturally, Travis’s love for his favorite team, the Phoenix Coyotes, is extended on FiveForHowling.com. He doesn’t take himself too seriously, but like anyone else, he does have his opinions on certain topics, such as the trend of watching TV on your PC. Check out our Q&A with Travis below:

How come you chose to write about the Phoenix Coyotes?
Well, I’ve grown up here in Phoenix. Before the Coyotes moved here I was a fan of the Phoenix Roadrunners a minor league team here in town. Back in the day it was in the IHL but it’s still here, just in a different form. The Coyotes came here in 1996 I was instantly a fan, even if they had a funky looking logo. It’s been great for hockey in general as now local high schools have hockey teams, there are a lot more rinks around town and people see it as a sport. I started writing about them just last year because there just wasn’t any coverage of my team. The local paper would report on games here in town, but just little stories. Then when they were on the road the paper would just syndicate AP stories instead of sending a reporter with the team. I just wanted to get more information out there.
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Online Video: It Only Gets Bigger and Better

April 16, 2009

neilsenNielsen Online’s latest report found that the average person in the U.S. watched more than three hours (191 minutes) of online video in March. This equates to a 13 percent increase over similar data from February.

 The stats indicate one thing: online video is growing in preference.

Hypothetically, if we continue to grow at this rate, by the end of the year people may be watching up to eight hours of online video a month – which equates to around 15 minutes a day!

CNET News also covered the findings, further noting that video streams totaled 9.7 billion in March, a 9 percent increase from February and a 38.8 percent increase from the same period last year.  Still dominating in the online video market is Google’s YouTube, followed by Hulu and Yahoo!

Below are some charts to help provide more of a visual:

march09_videocensus


Cable TV’s Big Dilemma

April 10, 2009

Stemming from last week’s cable show, we saw a ton of coverage around cable and satellite providers looking to keep their momentum and prevent being undermined by Internet TV sites. As we all know, more and more people are going on the web to watch their favorite shows, which means traditional TV is becoming less of an option and cancel the cable and satellite subscriptions is becoming increasingly popular.

One of the discussions that derived from The Cable Show is the idea of a “pay-TV subscription,” where cable providers would give users access to shows online through a site only available to cable subscribers.

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Sports Bloggers weigh in: TV on your PC, Windows Media Center and What’s Next

April 3, 2009

3382057793_9f3fd86e1311As we mentioned a few weeks ago, we invited a group of sports bloggers to Microsoft for a Windows Media Center focus group to talk about their sports viewing habits and to hear their feedback on the sports viewing experiences in Windows Media Center.

A few of the participants this week shared their thoughts on their visit, Windows Media Center and the future of TV:

Pacific Northwest blogger and Portland Trailblazer enthusiast, Ian Thackaberry, posted on his blog, Thacknet, that when he originally thought of  Windows Media Center, he assumed it to be just a hub to store music and photos, but now, through content details and new features, it is “working to bridge the gap between the Internet and the Television.”

If you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably seen that the TV/PC convergence topic Ian mentioned is hot and buzz-worthy. As we -content enthusiasts- look for different and innovative ways to watch our favorite shows, games and movies, we’re interested in see what’s next for TV on the PC enthusiasts.

Steve Perrin, aka Clipper Steve, also wrote about his “Trip to Seattle to watch TV” on his SB Nation blog, Clips Nation. Steve talked about his first encounter with the TV/PC phenomenon and questioned whether it was necessary to rely on both as they ideally had the same functions.  He also noted his reliance on his DVR and the “harrowing” experience that followed after the DVR broke and he was forced to watch everything in real time.  He noted that one of the good things about Windows Media Center is that “in theory I could rewind and record and do all those cool DVR things to my heart’s content.”

 What are your thoughts on the buzz around the convergence of the TV and the PC? We’re curious to hear your thoughts on what’s next.


Trendspotting: TV is still the king

March 30, 2009

66757-cosmictvmThis week, we found an interesting article from MediaWeek that discusses how even though new media devices are big and becoming more popular in our digital world, the television is still dominating the home.

Despite this key takeaway, there are several interesting points that emphasize the increasing use of online video, DVR and Internet TV:

  • The computer has replaced the radio as the No. 2 media activity, behind television
  • Digital boomers spend 9.5 hours with all four screens (TV, computer, mobile and out-of-home) compared to 8.5 hours for all other age groups.
  • The average adult spent 309.1 minutes watching live TV and only 14.6 minutes playing back programming via DVR. DVD use was higher at 22.9 minutes

Even though the radio and the computer have a fairly similar reach, on average people spend about 2 hours and 33 minutes on the computer – almost an hour longer than the radio. We wonder if this shift will change drastically as more options are made available? On the flip side, we’re also seeing cable and satellite companies offer interactive service, which will make the television set even that more appealing. As the article notes, this shift may be dependent on generations as their consumption is often loosely based on their day-to-day habits.

I often wonder why some people prefer one device over another. The New Jersey Business News also wrote an article discussing this similar subject and noted that for the following reasons, people are choosing to watch TV over any other device…

…partly due to the drawbacks of online video. Watching video on a PC isn’t as comfortable as watching TV while relaxing on a couch. And the quality of Internet video, while improving, still isn’t as good.

What do you think? Will TV continue to be the number one source of media consumption or will this trend slowly change?

If you are strongly for or against traditional TV, what are your reasons?

(photo courtesy of MediaWeek)