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Reader Report Session 1 Amanda Lotz: Emerging Media Article Television Outside the Box: The Technological Revolution

of Television Key aspects of the tekst: In the middle of the 21th century new and advanced technology expanded, which seemingly directed the entire television industry. However, there appeared an uncertain factor within the television industry namely the adaptation and reaction of the audience. Examples of the former technological applications are; DVRs, DVDs, and portable devices. These developments influenced the way in which audience watched television, how they watched television and where. The latter also implied greater control by its users. Through several technical developments television was accessible anywhere and anytime. Hence, television was not restricted to the living room anymore, and was made mobile. This was established through developments such as the mobile phone, tablets and wireless internet. Through the altered technology, spatiality and the social changes questions arose regarding the definition of the medium as television. However, the first revolution of the television occurred by other developments such as the expansion of channels and the rise of colour television. Subsequently the audience had more choice through the options of multi-channel and furthermore the remote control appeared on the scene. In 1987 almost 50 per cent of all U.S homes owned a VCR, which respectively grew to 98 per cent in 2003. Ultimately this altered the time of the viewing-experience which also was controlled by the audience themselves. The possibility of watching television through the use of cable technologies, instead of the ether, was also an indication of what Amanda Lotz calls the multi-channel transition. A new revolution began when television technology shifted from being analogue to digital, which according to Lotz can defined as the Post Network Era. Several changed occurred by this shift namely; the convergence of television with computers, more storage, expanded choice, channels and an on-demand service. However, Lotz concentrates on the developments of convenience, mobility and theatricality. Most technological developments implementation in the audience life took a while, for instance the HD-Technique and its availability. However, the availability of more channels did not imply that viewers watched all channels. Research indicates that households that had access to thirty to fourthly channels, respectively only watched an average of 10.2 different channels. Besides, the video on demand systems where not used to the level of degree as it was supposed to. Overall, research indicated that only 10 per cent of the households utilized television technologies to the full maximum. On the level of convenience of the audience, this expanded by the use of the VCR and DVR. The latter was easier to use then the former. Thus broadcasting schedules where more easily interrupted by the use of the DVR than

the VCR. The DVR brought more convenience then the VCR yet both have the audience more control. Control grew by the use of the DVR because this technique converted television with digital techniques. Therefore, users could program their DVR outside of the home with their mobile phone which increased the level of convenience. Thus, the linear programming experience was interrupted buy the use of the DVR. This technique created a more active attitude from its users compared to the linear programming systems which created a more passive viewer, according to Lotz. Viewers were more likely to watch singular program than a whole network. The television medium and its social practices was therefore defined as publishing model instead of the older flow model. The first indication of television that was not restricted to one specific area anymore was when portable DVD players were sold. Quickly after the invention of these devices, new devices were accessible for the audience. Example of these devices are: the Playstation Portable and I-Pods. Furthermore techniques enabled users to burn their own recorded show on a DVD, which could be watched on a portable laptop. There is an important distinction between portable and mobile. The latter means watching live television mostly outside their own homes. Portable refers to not only to an altered place but also an altered time. The latter expands users control more. These convenient techniques enabled users to watch more television and the content is more adapted to their own taste. This lead to a more fragmented and isolated television experience. This lead to the creation of specific fan culture who stored, reviewed and shared elements of the their show. Furthermore the number of television shows increased which lead to the need to organize and find television shows more easily in this wide range of shows. Search engines on the internet helped with finding a specific program and these engines made connection to optional programs. The memory of important live events, like the Kennedy assassin, are restricted to domestic television watching. These restricted areas are likely to disappear through the expanded use of mobile television on PDAs or mobile phones. The techniques that establishes mobile television on small devices changed the location based network of television. Restriction to specific areas where made to defend the show from being watched all over the country. These techniques are defined as geofiltering. The mobile phone is nowadays ubiquitous and therefore new s olutions are introduced to expand the mobile and portable ways of watching television. Content and technologies are adjusted to the little screen people carry with them all day. The use of mobile phones seem to offer more freedom. However, because of all the possibilities mobile phones offer, boundaries between work and private live seem to vanish. Private life, technologies, work and leisure is now compressed into one device namely, the mobile phone. Mobile television serves different cultural function compared to the location based domestic television. Mobile television expanded contexts, meanings and the use of television. However, the domestic television expanded in size and visual

possibilities. Here Lotz is referring to the increased size of the television screen itself and the way in which signals are send. Meaning that because of the High Definition (HD) features of television signals, visual images and audio were better experienced. This can be called the theatricality of television. This influenced the production techniques and the technologies of television. This altered signal established the vanishing boundaries between television and cinema. However, using HD techniques and integrating it in daily television is a slow on going process. This is because it costs more to produce a show in HD quality compared to the normal quality and it does not lead to higher profit in advertisements on television. However, since the HD features are already integrated the preference for HD expanded compared to regular quality because of the enhanced visual quality. HD techniques maximize the artistic potential of television. Ultimately media events are established by the use of theatricality of HD television sets. Meaning that people gather with family and friends to watch a specific program in the best quality available. In the end, television changed by its theatricality, mobility and convenient technologies. However, the main process of television is still restricted to schedules and limited to the technologies that are available.