THE BROKEN BONES OF TELELVISION

Commercially available since the late 1920s, television has become commonplace in today’s world however, its technology has survived for nearly one hundred years despite the numerous problems and difficulties it brings along. Particularly used as a vehicle for advertising, a source of entertainment, and news, it’s scheduled nature puts it at a disadvantage and leaves it, to this day, as a technology stuck in the past.

Television lacks an interactive experience with the individual viewer due to it’s scheduled format. Simply, particular programmes are only broadcasted on particular channels at particular times. This way of getting shows to the television is both problematic for both the viewer and producers of what’s being shown. A show may have the potential to be well received and have a popular audience however, if it is on at time when the majority of people aren’t around a television to watch it, it is a opportunity wasted. This is why popular shows more commonly played after people’s work/school hours are over and they have to time to themselves at home to watch T.V. An example of this would be ‘Eastenders’ or other such soaps. If they were played in the daytime rather than during the evening, less people would have the chance to watch it. Less viewers greatly effects the creators of shows in that advertisers will not be willing to pay huge sums of money if the number of possible people watching the show is minimal. It also makes it difficult and frustrating for viewers who actually want to watch these programmes but due to their schedule they can’t. An on-demand service would be the opposite of this and a solution.

Another problematic element to television is the fact that it relies on receiving signals from a satellite to display pictures or motion on their screen. On a clear, sunny day this form of acquiring wireless transmitted electromagnetic waves works fine. No extensive wires are used and provides an efficient way of communication however, if it is raining, snowing and a storm is occurring the signal will more than likely be either distorted or not received at all. The producers of the satellite can do nothing to overcome the weather to correct the error and man can do nothing to control or change the weather. If a world-wide premiere or finale of a popular show, such as ‘Breaking Bad’, is being broadcasted and the weather is terrible, the event is ruined if the conditions effect the signal. Unlike T.V. the internet does not have this problem and it could be part of the reason why internet services such as ‘Netflix’ are becoming more popular amongst society.

At one point in your life, whether it be around friends or perhaps on a social website, someone will complain about adverts. Channels and shows on television often rely on advertising to fund what they’re producing however, to many, they are the bane of television for a number of reasons. In the UK, the BBS is funded by a license fee and does not screen adverts apart from the promotion of its own future programming (either ‘coming soon’ or the day’s later programming features). However, on the commercial channels, the amount of airtime allowed by the UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom for advertising is an overall average of 7 minutes per hour, with limits of 12 minutes for any particular clock hour (8 minutes per hour between 6pm and 11pm). This brings along a lack of content such as with 42-minute American exports to Britain, such as ‘Lost’, being given a one-hour slot, nearly one third of the slot is taken up by adverts or trailers for other programs. The ratio between the show and its advertising is striking and often angers viewers since they have no choice but to sit through and wait until their show begins or returns. Often, adverts can become uninteresting and nuisance to the viewer, causing them to change channels to look for entertainment elsewhere. This, of course, reduces the popularity of a channel if this occurs and therefore effects the producers of the shows.

Overall, television is very much in need a revamp. Its problematic nature brought along with its scheduled format, its unreliable signal acting as a liability and its significant and repetitive use of advertising makes it surprising that it has not be significantly been renovated and entirely replaced. Although there have been attempts to amend its downfalls through Sky+, Sky On Demand and Sky Anytime, television had withstood the test of time despite being a problem for people all around the world.

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