Today I will discuss The Rise and Fall of Television as we once knew it.
Having been born in the 1970’s and growing up in the 1980’s a lot has changed in the way we used to watch television over the years. I remember as a young child watching television with rabbit ears (an antenna plugged into the back of the tv). Briefly we even had cable tv which was a huge upgrade from just watching the local networks. I witnessed the rise of MTV (Music Television) and VH1 (Video Hits Television). In the 1980’s there were VCR’s (Video Cassette Recorders) to watch rented movies on and also the groundbreaking ability for the first time ever to actually record what you wanted to watch while not at home or even while watching it thru the use of re-usable blank VCR tapes.
During the 1990’s everything started to change. No longer did you see independent movie rental stores. Instead they were all put out of business by big box stores (Block Buster Video and Hollywood Video). Eventually only Block Buster would remain. You would stand in line waiting to rent a new or older movie, but now you had the choice of VCR tapes or DVD (Digital Video Disk). As we all know DVD was better (better picture quality, better sound and lasted a whole lot longer) and it replaced the VCR.
In the early 2000’s Netflix put Block Buster out of business with the option to order a movie online and have it shipped to you. Then Netflix expanded and became what it is today – a video streaming service (the first of it’s kind). Blu Ray was born and is said to be the last format to be offered for actually owning a copy of a film. DVD is still around today, but Blu Ray is so much better (better picture quality and sound and room for more special features than what fit on a DVD). Like VCR tapes, DVD’s will continue to be around for some time before eventually vanishing forever. In 2008 -2009 we had the federally mandated analog to digital conversion. This forced us to either buy HD (High Definition) antennas to replace our old rabbit ear antennas with or subscribe to cable or satellite just to watch what used to be free television.
Fast forward to today; most people don’t buy a copy of a movie. Why would they when they can stream a months worth of service for less than the cost of owning a single new movie (or a couple older ones at reduced prices). It just makes more sense to stream and so that is what we do now, we stream it. To stream it means we watch it over the internet with either streaming device (Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, Blu Ray player, Apple TV, desktop computer, laptop, smart phone, tablet, or a smart tv). Some gaming systems have app support for streaming too such as Playstation, and Xbox. Since internet is super fast now there are no buffering issues (lag, waiting for it to load) so it is readily available to us.
In this next section I will present the streaming options as of the time of this posting. There are three ways to stream, free with commercials, low cost with some commercials and commercial free for more money.
Netflix – The most popular and the first to launch. Lot’s of pricing options, original content and popular selections to revisit.
Hulu – Two formats available; a standalone streaming service competing with Netflix or a full blown cable/satellite alternative.
Apple TV – The ability to watch just about any channel from anywhere.
Roku – The original streaming device. Now with it’s own free channel to watch and still the ability to add thousands of apps (some free) to stream with all on one device. Now they even offer smart tv’s called Roku TV’s where the Roku app is included so you no longer need to purchase a Roku separately.
Tubi TV – Free Streaming content with commercials.
Pluto TV – Free Streaming content with commercials.
Crackle – Free Streaming content with commercials.
Disney Plus+ – Just launched November 2019. All of the Disney titles available in one place forever. This means cable companies and satellite companies lost or are about to loose their rights to offer Disney content. Also all of Marvel and Star Wars is here forever. National Geographic channel is included as well. Two options are available; Disney Plus+ or Disney Plus+ with Hulu included (Disney owns the majority stake in Hulu).
Playstation Vue – Competes with cable and satellite. This is going away 1/30/2020.
You Tube – Two formats; free and paid. The Paid service includes original content and competes with cable and satellite.
Philo – Competes with cable and satellite.
Sling TV – Competes with cable and satellite.
Fubo TV – Competes with cable and satellite. There focus is primarily on everything to do with sports.
Amazon Prime – Competes with Netflix. Also you get free 2nd day shipping service for being a prime member.
AT & T TV Now – Competes with cable and satellite.
Also there are individual networks getting in on the action such as HBO, Showtime, CBS all access, and many more to come. The point being that The Rise and Fall of Television as we once knew it shows us that we no longer have to subscribe to cable or satellite to watch TV.
With so many selections the choice is really up to you on what you want to watch and how you want to watch it. This is the first time in history that as consumers we have so many options to choose from. No longer is there an excuse to not watch a movie or show at home with your home theatre system. So what are you waiting for, stream something today!
Premium Audio recommends a powerful outdoor HD Antenna for local networks and some others too. We also recommend Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus+ (with Hulu), and Pluto TV. For ease of use we recommend using a Roku device to stream it all with. Premium Audio is a Roku affiliate so we do get paid for you ordering from Roku directly.