Television : Television And Television Essay

Television : Television And Television Essay

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Once a week or so I will send a friend a text message asking, “What are you doing?” and just about every time, their reply is “Watching TV.” Clearly these people lead boring lives and need to get out more, but are they actually watching TV? What do they even mean by that? It is possible they are using a television set, but what is on it? Netflix, a movie, YouTube, illegal streaming, all of these are able to be displayed within the frame of a television appliance, but one could also find all of these on their smart phone as well. While these are still screens, do they also count as “TV”? Is this content different from web content and if it is, how?
Once these questions are asked, television can no longer be easily defined. It used to be a name for the appliance you could buy, but with the introduction of cable and internet, any video can be referred to as TV. I believe the definition varies from person to person as each uses the concept differently. TV is an appliance but is also a part of our culture. As we have discussed in class, its massive reach leads to status conferral. Its flow allows us to develop parasocial relationships with characters we see. These hundred dollar words make it sound like a sophisticated technology, but TV is often stated as being mundane entertainment for people of “low culture”; Addictive imagery designed to deliver the masses to advertisers and set agendas for the public. (Hartley, year not stated) Sure, TV has a history of this practice, but now I can find TV shows such as Breaking Bad through paid streaming services that are commercial free. If I search hard enough, I can even find it on the internet for free.
Personally, I do not define it as an appliance or even by pure video cont...


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... are a few exceptions to this rule, such as public access and educational shows, but in the end, these programs also require some sort of funding, whether or not they make a profit is irrelevant. Due to this goal, video for television is extensively thought out beforehand in order to develop an exciting narrative with characters that is on-going over multiple episodes. The better the flow, the more addictive the programming will be, resulting in more hours spent viewing and maximized exposure to advertising. (Vande Berg) This narrative is not restricted to dramas or serial programming. Even the news has a certain hook to it as we learn who the hosts are and begin to trust the information they present us with. This combination of a parasocial interaction and legitimized status conferral keeps the viewer coming back, ultimately building the business of television.

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