Why has there been a recent evolution regarding television moving to the personal computer?
Despite the common presence of computer-based appliances and applications such as DVD players, digital receivers and digital video recorders, some people still have mixed feelings regarding the thought of having a computer replace their traditional television. It is more of an aesthetic concern than anything else that has slowed the transition of the television to the personal computer. One may find it difficult to get used to the concept of having a computer as the focal point of their family room or main living area. Smaller devices like DVD players that play movies and DVR devices that record TV are less noticeable forms of computers and tend to blend in more to the rest of the home entertainment area.
However, in the last five years, the increasing amount of crossover among TV and computer technologies has sparked a larger interest within the general public to explore TV options online and computer/t.v. converging technologies. As computers work their way into almost every facet of our day to day lives, the usage of ones desktop or laptop as a device for TV has risen greatly.
I recently purchased a device that links my Apple MacBookPro with my HD TV. It is called Apple TV. It syncs to my laptop wirelessly and allows me to play anything that I downloaded in iTunes on my HD TV including movies and TV shows. It is really cool but it may take a while to download an entire HD movie, hence it is not nearly as fast as my cable TV’s on demand options.
Couch Potato vs. Mouse Potato
“Mouse potatoes,” or those who prefer relaxing in front of their personal laptop or desktop over a television, are a segment of the population that is quickly growing. Recently, I have slowly transitioned myself from the remote to the mouse and from the TV to my laptop as a means of entertainment. I use my laptop to run my home based business, so I am on my computer many hours each day. Lately, when I need a break and want to watch a TV program, catch the weather, sports, even watch a movie, I change applications and view whatever I feel like online. I am just one type of mouse potato since I have my computer with me at all times since I travel often, so its the convenience factor for myself.
For others, being a mouse potato is a generational characteristic. Most Generation Xers like myself or young adults, teenagers and tweens do not remember a time when they did not have a computer at their home or in their bedroom. Much of this has been due to the increasing affordability of computers as well as the general technological explosion of the late 90’s. Not only are the youngest generations more likely to have access to personal computers than older folks, but their knowledge of new services and applications on the internet is superb because it is a major part of their social culture, as well as their communicative and popular culture.
In conclusion, there seems to be a rapid transition of traditional TV capabilities switching over to the personal computer. As entertainment and information technology merge, the personal computer continues to take on more and more applications. In the near future there will no doubt be a universal computer that will make its way into all of our living rooms. Google wouldn’t have purchase YouTube for $ 1.65 Billion if they didn’t think people would watch video online. Whatever things we desire to see as entertainment, education, or shopping, will all be available in one sleek and efficient user friendly interactive internet accessible unit (my iPhone is pretty close).
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