How do you watch “TV”?

cable vs internet, Kingston, OntarioThe way we consume television and film has developed and changed immensely over the last 20-30 years.  Having grown up in the 80s, it was perfectly reasonable for my generation to expect every house to have at least one or two television sets, VCRs and, at a minimum, basic cable.  Into the 90s we saw more and more satellite dishes added to rooftops and, along with that came the ability to bring movies into our homes without going to the video store.  We would set up our VCRs to capture shows that we would be missing during their air time because otherwise we would miss it all together.  In 1999, Tivo came along, allowing us to do pretty much the same thing but in a much smarter and tidier package.  Believe it or not, Netflix also made its debut in 1999, allowing subscribers to choose from over 100,000 titles to watch at their leisure.  Television was changed forever.

Today, the idea of cable TV is becoming old fashioned.  Now it is perfectly reasonable to expect every house to have at least one or two computers rather than TVs.  We still have the TVs but now their main function is for streaming, watching downloads or playing video games.  And this isn’t just a trend in the younger generations either.  My parents, who are in their 70s, are regular users of Netflix and Crave, but they also still have their precious cable (because there’s no CNN channel on Netflix that I’m aware of…yet).  The last few years have seen numerous competitors to Netflix such as Crackle, Flixter and the not-yet-available-in-Canada Amazon and Hulu, plant their flag with the hopes of being the next big thing in streaming.  Things are changing rapidly and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight.

These new ways to consume are not just changing as far as the medium, but are also changing how we consume.  Netflix and Amazon, for example, not only give us entire seasons to watch all at once, but they also are the creators behind many of these incredibly popular, award-winning shows.  Now, instead of waiting week to week to find out if Piper ever catches the chicken and just how far Francis will go to get the presidency, we can watch an entire season (sometimes close to 24 hours worth!) in one weekend.

With these ever-growing options for television and movie consumption becoming more and more popular, we want to know:

[poll id=”247″]

Since there really is no one way to watch your favourite shows, you can choose up to two answers in this week’s poll.  Drop us a comment below and tell us how you voted.  Why do you still have cable, or why not?  When did you finally decide to cut it off or take the plunge and try something new? Tell us the pros and cons of your television and film watching experience.

Thanks to ajcgn for today’s pic.


Danielle Lennon

Danielle Lennon is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. She was the Editor, Community Event Coordinator and Contributor at-large (2008-2018). She is otherwise employed as a section violinist with the Kingston Symphony, violin teacher, studio musician and cat lover. Learn more about Danielle...

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