I am not a huge television buff – if I am watching TV, it’s normally to watch the news. However, there are certain shows that I cannot miss; therefore, TV is a big part of my life.
During my transition to college, I decided it would be a good idea to bring my TV along with me to school rather than leaving it at home. I felt that even though I didn’t spend hours upon hours each day watching shows, living a life without a television seemed too strange.
Now that I am in my second year of college, I’ve realized that my original assumption about life without TV was false. Though I can’t imagine removing all programing from my life completely, I can picture removing the medium of the television set out of everyday living.
I have a TV in my dorm room; however, it hasn’t been turned on in well over three months. When it is used, it is generally for watching a Blu-ray or DVD. This isn’t because I don’t watch any shows, rather because I choose to watch my shows via the internet.
Because I am living the volatile life of a college student, time is never my friend. Planning out a scheduled hour to watch a TV show just doesn’t work for me anymore. Because of this, I need TV on demand for free of charge – which is why the internet is my main source for viewing programs.
I have TV shows and news programs I feel I need to watch each week. Here’s a breakdown of how I manage to fit all of them in without ever turning on the tube.
Hulu provides free viewing of all the top TV shows currently being broadcasted. As long as I’m willing to wait a day or two, I can watch most of my favorite TV shows online with limited commercial interruptions. The only downside to watching shows on Hulu rather than TV is the buffering that takes place as well as the maintenance problems that are sure to happen to any website.
I have three different news/commentary shows I watch throughout the week, and I manage to catch all three through podcasts I download in iTunes. Although the podcasts do not feature all the footage from the shows, they do give me the meat of the program – which is all I need to find out what’s going on in the world. The only downside is downloading time as well as the poor quality of the video.
Almost all of the major networks as well as cable stations have websites that stream their shows for free. Because Hulu does not carry every show on television, I often find myself going to these sites to watch late night talk shows or cable premiered sitcoms. Shows on these websites are generally high quality, but have more ads than Hulu.
Viewing pleasure for many my age is switching over to this trend. Because of this, TVs are becoming less of a necessity. Although televisions will still be important appliances in the future, they will mostly be used for movie viewing and gameplay and not for actual program viewing. This provides another example of how the internet is reshaping media, and how the next generation will perceive a communication medium differently that the generations before it.