Obviously, technology has made televisions thinner yet more sophisticated with superior quality and durability. As of November 2008, 23.3% of households with a television own an HDTV. Compare this to only 12.8% in November 2007, just a year before. The recent emergence of LED TVs will provide a crystal clear viewing experience, even better than the latest and trendiest HDTVs. Although expensive, they will drop in price soon enough.
The numbers, obtained from Nielsen, demonstrate that in each progressive quarter, the average American is watching more television. In Q3 2007, the average American watched close to 137 hours of TV a month, while in Q3 2008, watched almost 143 hours. That’s a 4.1% difference.
This trend can be attributed to the growth of DVR. Comparing Q3 2007 to Q3 2008, DVR usage was up 52.5%. The ability to record and save programming allows Americans to view their favorite television shows at their own convenience.
The numbers also show that more people are watching cable news. From 2007 to 2008, news viewers doubled. However, this can be attributed to the economic crisis and presidential election. Despite decreased household budgets in the recent economic turmoil, Americans are NOT downgrading from cable or satellite to basic services. People are still purchasing televisions and tuning into cable networks.
The growth of Hulu, as well as online media in general, has been a product of technological change. Many people state that the emergence of Internet media may take away from television viewing in the living room. However, my experiences show the contrary.
I never got into watching television except maybe a few news channels, but even then, I usually just stay up to date with the latest headlines online. But when I first explored internet media, my experiences began to change. I started to watch a few television shows on Hulu and other websites. Once I caught up with the seasons, I began to follow these shows at the normal broadcasting time. If it weren’t for these websites showing television shows, I would have never even started watching television to begin with. For me, watching television online actually attracted me to the industry. Besides, I’d rather watch on my 52″ HDTV than a 15.4″ laptop screen.