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How Do You Watch TV?

Photo by Jordan Winders

While watching TV this week, I noticed a lot of commercials saying something like “if you missed your favorite show you can watch it tomorrow on a tablet, smart phone or other device.” I didn’t pay much attention to them at first, but as the week went on I started to see more of these commercials (or at least it seemed like I did).

I even noticed a commercial tonight right before a big pay-per-view talking about how for the first time you could order the pay-per-view on your tablet, smart phone or certain gaming consoles. While the commercials I saw earlier in the week didn’t come as a huge shock, this intrigued me.

You have been able to watch show after their original airing for years. First with re-runs, then TV to DVD and DVR, and then with a variety of internet services. Even some of the networks now put the shows up on their website (or one of the internet services) a day or two after they air. When smart phones and tablets came around, you could watch the show on those devices through the sites or even an app. Some DVRs even let you send recorded programming to you tablet or smart phone.

But seeing the commercial saying you could get a show live somewhat stopped me in my tracks. While the show was a pay-per-view and you would still have to pay to view it on your device, the fact that you can watch live programming on your device still seemed cool to me! Then a friend of mine told me that some devices could go to a website or app during the NCAA tournament and watch some of the games live there.

I have mixed emotions about this new “toy” I have found in watching live events on my tablet or phone. I like not being able to miss these events, some of which you can only see again in highlights. It would be nice on a nice day (like we had this weekend) to be able to sit outside, enjoy the weather, and enjoy a live event on my device. Then I come to the other side of the coin. We already spend so much of our time “connected” do we really need to be this connected? What are we going to miss out on in our own lives to be able to watch one of these events? Are we too absorbed in technology?

I guess with everything there is a good and a bad. I think this could be a great tool (I know I would use it during the NFL season this fall when I can’t be in front of a TV). I could see down the road being able to watch live newscasts, TV shows and more on portable devices. We just have to make sure we also remember to live in the moment and not to neglect what is around us!

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