Just another screen

Adam Gurri, doing a guest spot at Chris Anderson’s Wired sub-empire, mentions this statistic I’d heard but forgotten, and repeated it at one of his own sites:

[I]f Clay Shirky is to be believed, much of the time spent online will come and is already coming from the time we used to spend watching TV.

I don’t have any trouble believing Shirky: my television viewing has dropped to nearly zilch, despite my having bought an HDTV in anticipation of the coming demise of analog television as we know it. What’s more, most of what I still watch is either DVDs or basketball. If your experience is similar, or if it isn’t, I’d like to hear about it.


  1. Tyson Wynn »

    4 January 2009 · 11:15 am

    The two aren’t mutually exclusive for some of us multi-taskers. :)

  2. CGHill »

    4 January 2009 · 11:24 am

    Lucky you. I’m doing well to pull off even a single task these days.

  3. McGehee »

    4 January 2009 · 12:05 pm

    That’s how it happened to me. Now I’m in the take-time-from-the-internet-to-watch-TV side of the curve.

  4. McGehee »

    4 January 2009 · 12:05 pm

    …although now that I have that toy laptoplet I too can multitask. In theory.

  5. Brian J. »

    4 January 2009 · 12:21 pm

    Hard to say. For a while, we watched every Blues hockey game and the Packers games on broadcast television. Then our viewing dwindled to nothing, but now it’s up to Lost, Terminator, and all the Packers games thanks to a satellite package.

    On the other hand, the last post on my blog is almost two weeks old.

    Maybe there’s data in them thar anecdotes.

  6. Jeffro »

    4 January 2009 · 12:22 pm

    The laptop is on and heating my lap while the teevee is going – sure sounds like multitasking except my attention isn’t on the boob tube.

  7. CT »

    4 January 2009 · 12:39 pm

    I agree that the two are far from mutually exclusive. In fact, with notebooks and smarter-than-smart smartphones (iPhones) proliferating, it’s the oldstyle fixed-location desktop computer that’s getting pushed out the picture, as a media interface and beyond. Notebook computers are already outshipping desktops and have been for a year now. I’m predicting that, inside of 10 years, the notion of a “computer room” that you have to dedicate your time to — with the opportunity cost being less time in front of the TV — will seem quaint.

    Myself, I’ve never owned a desktop system (unless you count the Atari 800XL from 25 years ago). I’ve had notebooks for 10 years now, and routinely keep my eyes on both screens (as I am while writing this). I can’t say my TV consumption has declined much, although it’s largely restricted to sports and movies now.

  8. Mel »

    4 January 2009 · 10:32 pm

    Like CT, I do both, although my primary viewing involves shows I record with Beyond TV then watch as I want. Thankfully the cable companies are required to deliver their analog signals until spring 2012, so my analog DVR tuners are just fine.

    One interesting side effect of being able to record almost a terabyte (at 2 Gig per hour) … I now have a tendency to let a season of shows spool up and them watch them all on a designated weekend.

    For those that haven’t noticed what USA Network is producing these days. Psych and Burn Notice are good shows.

  9. McGehee »

    5 January 2009 · 10:54 am

    Except for The Weather Channel and the very occasional random channel surfing when nothing interesting is TiVo’d, what we watch is likewise pretty much something we saved for later viewing (or rented from Netflix).

    We too have an analog version but with three years before the HD versions are necessary, we’re not worried.

    And yes, “Psych” and “Burn Notice” are two series we record regularly.

  10. Mel »

    5 January 2009 · 12:05 pm

    >> Except for The Weather Channel …

    My folks live far enough into The Sticks(tm) that their only options are satellite and Over-The-Air. The use a combo actually, since rain fade during severe storms kills the Sat reception, they have the OTA to get weather info.

    I recently reworked their setup and added converter boxes.

    They now have two sub-channels that show actual *gasp* “weather” as opposed to what you might find on The Weather Channel at any given point in time (like “The day the polar bears died and why men in Texas are to blame”).

    And even 30-40 miles from the towers, the picture is stunning.

    In case anyone wants to know.

    Antenna: Radio Shack VU-90 XR. Location has good line of site to the transmission towers.

    RG-6 quad-shield, used outdoor connectors as needed (cut and prepped my own cables). Treated all outdoor connections with dielectric grease.

    Converter Box: Zenith DTT-901 (made by LG).

    And no, I didn’t have to use a signal booster, even considering that I had to split it for two TV’s.

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