TelevisionWeek contributing writer Daisy Whitney is blogging about the pinnacles and pitfalls facing viewers who want to consume television in new ways. Check in frequently as Daisy kicks the tires on the new media juggernaut and dishes on which services do -- and don’t -- make the cut.


Trial and Error

Another Experiment in Quitting TV

October 14, 2008 2:22 PM

If you really want to know what it’s like to go without cable, satellite or over-the-air and rely on Internet TV, let’s hear from The Diffusion Group. The research firm conducted an experiment with staffers on quitting old TV via legal alternatives.

'The Shield'

NO COP-OUT Catching up on past seasons of shows like FX's 'The Shield' is one option for viewers seeking to live a TV-free existence.

Here are some of The Diffusion Group’s findings from its experiment on life with broadband-powered video only. This information comes from Andy Tarczon, general manager for the research firm.

  • Content Discovery: “While able to catch the latest episode of my favorite show (let’s say ‘Grey’s Anatomy’), it was difficult to learn about other shows that may be of similar interest. You can easily FIND, but have difficulty when it comes to DISCOVER.”

  • What’s the score? “Live events are still quite the exception (look at how Hulu garnered attention for simply streaming the presidential debates). Take a sports fan and tell them they can’t watch games live unless via a low-quality connection and you have a recipe for disaster. (Like, why did they buy that shiny big screen every sports fan MUST have!)

  • Serial Monogamy: “In the process of losing weekly TV, new shows to watch, or live programming, our household began to watch a series at a time. ‘The Shield’ is a great example. Coming across the show in its fourth season, we set out to catch up from Season One. We were devoted (monogamous) to one show (our serial) during the old season that we might be watching. So instead of four different shows in one week, we’ll watch four episodes of the same show. We quickly run through that series, then on to the next one.”

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    Comments (1)

    Serial Monogomy is a particularly apt description. I know a couple college students in VT who can only access programming via the internet or DVDs of seasons. When the second season of Mad Men started over the summer, they absolutely refused to watch episodically at an hour a week. Instead they've devoured the whole first season and half the second via AMC On Demand in 2-3 day marathons. They're conditioned to this type of viewing.

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