Television is more than a paperweight

Jene Thomas – General Assignment Reporter 

Over the past week, the wireless network has gone down sporadically. Many people already know this because it’s been a trending topic on Yik Yak, a social media app where users post anonymous statuses.

There were new posts everyday about students not being able to watch Netflix. In this digital age, more and more people are using streaming as a means to watch television shows, calling into question how significant a television still is.

“It’s still kind of relevant, but people are switching to online,” said Derek Taylor, communications professor at Southern Connecticut State University. “They are cancelling their cable subscriptions and moving towards things like Amazon.”

In a USA Today reported that 38 percent of American households have Netflix subscriptions, 18 percent used Hulu Plus and 13 percent used Amazon.

Teshika Thomas, a student here at SCSU, said that she would rather watch her favorite shows, Scandal for example, online rather than on the television, and not just because she doesn’t have a television in her dorm room.

“It’s a lot easier,” she said, “because it’s more convenient and commercial free.”

While Netflix and Amazon are commercial free, the commercials from the cable network sites like ABC or Fox last anywhere from 15 seconds to three minutes, whereas television viewers have waited more than three minutes in some cases.

Despite the increase in people that may be using online streaming to watch shows and movies, Wesley O’Brien, SCSU chairman and professor of media studies, says we are a “Golden Age of Television” and in terms of television versus streaming, the two go hand in hand.

“Many of us still use our televisions to receive streaming video, just as many folks use their digital devices to watch television shows,” he said.

New televisions are manufactured now to be compatible with these streaming mediums. The Smart TV even comes with features such as Netflix and Amazon. Xbox One consoles hook up to televisions but offer Internet Explorer, HBO Go and YouTube.

With gaming consoles, televisions are more than paperweight, even when users aren’t watching shows or movies. Video gamers can’t use their Xbox, Wii or PlayStation without hooking the console to their television with an HDMI cord. According to Entertainment Software Rating Board, ESRB for short, 67% of households play video games.

On Jan. 20, 31.7 million people tuned into the President Barack Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address, even though the figure was consider low in comparison to previous addressed, according to CNN.

People are still using televisions to tune into live events that that can’t view from anywhere else.

USA Today’s sports section reported the rating for the 2014 FIFA World Cup final game to be 26.5 million viewers. During the 2014 Grammys, CNN reported 28.5 live viewers. Students around campus have been whispering about plans to Feb. 1 on where to watch the New England Patriots vs. the Seattle Seahawks in the 2015 Super Bowl.

Walking around the campus, televisions are always on. There are multiple flat-screen televisions in the Adanti Student Center for student and faculty viewing. Southern also offers a premium movie channel for newly released movies on channel 918.

The 1920’s invention has evolved and now has more variety than it did when it was just a box with an antenna on the top. With DVRs, people can determine when they want to watch something.

“Television isn’t gone, it’s just delivered differently,” O’Brien said.

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