Why Internet is not ready to replace TV yet..

Last week our TV broke down. Our options were whether to spend a couple of hundred bucks on a fuse to get it repaired or get a new one. We have been contemplating the latter anyways. But while we optimize our options, I am stuck figuring out a mindless activity which helps me unwind every evening.

I consider myself reasonably technically savvy in terms of what’s out there ….let’s say 7/10. On other occasions, Rishi helps me out. So between the two of us, we have tried the following internet options in the past week. I think the problem is both in content and the experience. Some of the content issues that I experienced/felt were:

  • Netflix online movies – the selection is still shallow. Most of the new movies are not online yet. In fact the day we wanted to see the movie and registered, the site was undergoing 2-3 hours of maintenance.
  • Bollywood movies – registered for a monthly subscription on bwcinema.com (btw, great site for relatively new Bollywood movies). I like Hindi movies, but I could only watch 1.5 in 2-3 days. I don’t think I can watch at any faster pace. In general full length movies feel like a big time commitment. Its not something I look forward to every evening.
  • You-tube – bad quality, short videos. Great for few minutes, can’t watch it at length.
  • Hulu.com – this is NBC and Fox’s online site with full length, high quality episodes of many of their programs. Good site, but still lacking in content. We are done watching all the 30Rock episodes already.
  • Southpark – we have watched this from various sources. I like it but after a few episodes of those high pitched voices I am done…
  • The late-night shows are a favorite. I miss my daily date with Leno and Conan.
  • I miss the the KQED and Discovery programs. One moment you think that it is just another program shot in the wild, next moment you realize that you spent the last 90-min watching it from the edge of the couch.

Out of content and experience, the former issue is probably the easier one to resolve. Experience wise, a few annoyances were a bit surprising.

  • After 9-10 hrs of staring at a monitor, I want to watch something a bit further away and bigger. Yes, I know I can hook up my computer to the TV, etc….but my TV is out of commission. Remember?
  • The decision making in the infinite world of the internet is not too exciting at the end of the day. It’s surprising but the predictability of the 10 channels that I get and the fixed menu is preferable sometimes. Yes, even the rererereruns of Seinfeld and Friends.
  • When I am cooking, TV is a good, chatty friend in the background. For some reason Internet has not given me the same feeling yet.
  • I do miss the mindless channel surfing. Didn’t realize it before, but it helps me unwind.

Many of the issues that I faced are technically solvable today. But I do feel as that as someone who is comfortable with technology, I already miss the TV within a week. It’s going to be many years before the older generation or non-tech people, people still with dial-ups, etc would replace their TV with the internet.


    4 thoughts on “Why Internet is not ready to replace TV yet..

    1. hey – i come from the UK and if you have fast enough broadband, the Internet is very much a good replacement, but yeah I agree with your blog it’s not there just yet – the quality just isn’t there.

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