Is T.V. Becoming Obsolete?


The first successful electronic television was displayed in Sept. of 1927 in San Francisco. At this point in time, Philo Farnsworth’s camera tube transmitted its first image, which was simply a straight line. After this, much advancement was made and television became popular in America by the late 1940s, which undoubtedly made many people fascinated with this new technological development.

Television sets began to attract numerous people in different bars, department stores, and appliance stores as well. The sale of television sets rapidly increased and many people found jobs in retailing and installing them within homes and offices.

Nowadays, having a television or two within a home or an office is quite normal. Over the years, it has been one of the most popular sources of entertainment, as it provides a companion to those both young and old. However, it is important to note that with the rapid advancement in technology, young people of the millennial generation are beginning to forgo the traditional television set.

According to statistical data from the New York Post, traditional television viewers between the ages of 18 and 34 fell by 10.6 percent in the television season of Sept. through Jan., which was more than double the annual average decline.

Similarly, in Jan. of 2015, data showed that 17.8 million members of the millennial generation watched traditional television. This is approximately a 20 percent decrease when compared to the year 2011, when 21.7 million young Americans were enthusiastically tuned in to watching television. As such, many believe that the decrease in television popularity will continue until it eventually becomes completely obsolete.

On the contrary, some may argue that television is not becoming obsolete, but that it is instead being revolutionized. While traditional cable packages and regularly programmed television shows are losing attention, the content being shown is still in high demand and is greatly improving. Streaming services such Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon allow people to pick and choose what shows or movies they want to watch, as well as when they want to watch them. This is definitely a vivid contrast to having to subscribe to a cable package that is already bundled by cable providers.

From a statistical point of view, television shows are now in their golden era. Shows such as Game of Thrones, Orange is the New Black, Scandal, and Suits have never been more successful. Networks continue to invest heavily in such productions, allowing them to maintain quality as well as audience ratings.

HBO, which has been in operation since 1972, is the oldest and longest continuously operating paid television service in the United States. In Apr. of 2015, this service began allowing their customers access to all their original programs on personal computers, smart phones, tablet devices, as well as digital media players. This undoubtedly changed the scope of watching television, as people had more freedom to control what they watched in addition to where and when they watched it.

Regardless of the “revolution” of the television happening, it still remains a fact that television ratings have been on the decline for numerous years now. According to Business Insider, this generation is on the cusp of a significant historical shift from watching TV and movies to watching video on the Internet or mobile devices. As such, though it may not be strikingly evident, the statistical evidence shows that the television is well on its way to becoming obsolete.


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