The Role Of Technology In Eroding The Significance Of Television As A Broadcast Media


In this report, you will be able to find out the key factors on how broadcast television was replaced with digital television and how the role of technology eroded the significance of television as a broadcast media. Redefining the role of broadcast television will be explained together with how the human involvement was one of the main reason for the replacement. Broadcast television is being abandoned, just like printed newspapers. Will it face the similar downfall that newspapers suffered?


'The medium continues to evolve today as Internet technology and satellite broadcasting change the way people watch television, strengthening its position as one of the most important inventions of the 20th century’. Television is not dying, it is reinventing itself. Television industry goes a long way back in history of cumulative evolution, it has changed from black and white to colored screens, from large bulky television sets squeezed into the thinnest screen. With minimum number of channels blown up to over a hundred, able to choose between many types of genres. It has made room for both online and mobile platforms.

Evolution of Broadcast Television

During the early experiments in visual transmissions, two different types of television structures has come to exist. Firstly, it will be the broadcast television, which is also known as mechanical television. Secondly, it will be the digital television which is commonly known as electronic television. With constant technological advancements throughout the years, the broadcast aspect of television showed to be a disadvantage that required fixing and adaptation in order for technology to grow. In the early days, broadcast television was a milestone for many as not everyone was privileged to own one. Even though, it has a limited number of networks, it is still the major mass media in the advertising world. Media planners, buyers and advertisers acknowledged that this platform will be the most efficient and effective form of advertising for their brand has its has unique characteristics. For example, not only does broadcast televisions have audio and visual as an advantage but it also boasts its own live mediums which are informative. It also provides convenience as information and entertainment is at viewers fingertips. As a result of technology, high definition content growth produced more channel availability. Broadcast television produced various shows which catered to various age groups. This way, it created new business prospects for broadcast equipment manufacturers.

Introduction of Digital Television and Smart TV

For over 60 years, broadcast television has remained in its place, however it faced many challenges in-between. Analog systems got exposed to static and distortion producing low quality films. With television growing bigger in size, the resolution of image reduced and made the clarity worse. Therefore, to provide better quality television formats, technology started advancing in the media field and that is where they introduced Smart TV. Wanting to create a realism feel for the viewers, it provided an almost three-dimensional experience. With a wide screen format, it allowed crystal clear images with the help of digital signal. Families are getting closer and bonding by coming together in front of the wide screen television and immersing themselves in cinematic experiences offered by technological advances such as HDTV. This has been a shift from watching smaller screen televisions alone in the kitchen or bedroom. These viewing patterns may however vary again as the internet continues to achieve an increasingly larger role in how people watch television programs.

What makes Smart TV so unique is the incorporation of Internet. With having internet access, it allows online features and applications to be used directly from the television. Netflix is currently trending and it is the most used feature in television. Movies and TV-series are top favorites for everyone, with Netflix, you can download it and enjoy any movies or TV series at any point of time. It is updated frequently with vast range of genres. Network channels are rarely being used because of this. Home theatre systems are included as a package if you purchase a Smart TV, it gives you the complete feel of watching a film in the cinemas. To top it off, this allows anyone to pause, play, rewind and forward any part of the film, giving the opportunity to watch it at any convenience. Smart TV is claimed to be the latest evolution of interactive TV. It makes the television experience participatory. As told by Henry Jenkins, they have applied participatory culture in the new media system. The main idea for today’s Smart TV movement is about making television an effective audience experience rather than remaining the passive experience of viewing. It allows people to interact with their TV just as they do with their computers, so watching TV becomes more participatory in a way.

With internet, it has made online communication more social because it converges with computers, we can also say that the Internet converges with television as technology is involved in the transmission of television series and internet videos. Convergence in this process is a two-way phenomenon.

Television is Not Dying but it is Reinventing Itself

Individuals are spending more time surfing the web and watching series online, a growing number have chosen to dump television in a whole. About half the population uses Smart TV to watch their favorite program at any time they want. At the same time, the overall viewing of broadcast television continues to decline. Nevertheless, online streaming services like Netflix have benefited from this decline. Media fragmentation is applied here as there is an increase consumption of range of media to choose from. Everything that broadcast television can offer, other platforms likes, radio station, internet and mobile can offer it in better quality as well. Television used to be a group activity where everyone comes and watches the programmes together, but ever since, online streaming came about, they prefer watching it alone during their preferred time. Resulting to lesser social time with family and friends, which brings them to their own world.

‘The current trend of social influences have been growing with what is known as YouTube sensations; individuals who post their personal vlogs / videos on YouTube, This attracts a wide number of fans and followers from all over the world. It is easy to move forward to start their career in television or music but yet YouTube has gradually become a gainful star station on its own.’ With their well-established profile with loyal supporters, YouTube sensations have benefited and it gives viewers something to do when they need to work, it also helps them by staying creative and keeping up with current trends. Television executives and systems might battle against the adjustments in TV circulation, however generally, viewers are benefitting. It is an imagined community where all the followers are in a same bubble. The way humans interact with the world around them is transformed by technology. YouTube not only offers a wider range of content than TV networks but it allows viewers to get personal viewing experience, customizing to their likings. YouTube has made it easier and user friendly to get access to videos on any subject they like, watching it from different range of media platforms. It also creates a list from the most searched content and they can curate their own subscription list. During a time where we progressively anticipate practically moment satisfaction, this arrangement is custom fitted to present day propensities for devouring stimulation. Network programs, even news programs, are as of now adjusting to this move in conduct. For example, The Tonight Show Jimmy Fallon gets more views day by day internationally as they upload sneak previews of the show on YouTube. Given this achievement, it doesn't take a lot to envision how this YouTube time style of broadcasting could turn out to be increasingly across the board.

Network programming used to rule the airwaves. Currently, programmes like Netflix have provided new avenues for shows, whether they're old with a large fan base, or new shows specifically created for a new medium. 'In May 2013, after being dropped by Fox in 2006, Netflix changed the game by restoring the popular television series 'Arrested Development.' Netflix also broke new ground when 'House of Cards' entered content creation. The two shows are well known with watchers yet additionally seemed to profit Netflix. It has delivered more than 100 original series, just as many films, documentaries and satire specials.’ Television was never an intended medium. For many years, television was the one talking and people sat and tuned in. Well, that only lasted till social media came alive, particularly Facebook, went along. Instead of sitting down and watching it quietly with no interaction, now you can share your thoughts and opinions online. Discussing and being able to connect in real time is the trend right now. Nowadays, the highlight of many discussions are about sports and news, and many are integrating it into their programming and advertising. Experts call this phenomenon 'second screen,' and drawing in with one in the middle of TV time is virtually a given for the younger generation. In this user generated content, humans are involved in the replacement.

How did the Death of Broadcast Television Affected People

In today’s world, there is a big concern that television does more harm than good and that is because of the controversy surrounding television's effects on people's minds. After many research studies, they have found that there are many advantages to educational television. The article, 'The Good Things about Television' by the Media Awareness Network, wrote about how television can be a very powerful and useful tool for children to learn if it is used appropriately. Not only do they explain how television teaches youngsters identify their place in the society and how to adapt to it, they discuss on how to develop closer relationships with family and friends, teaching them to understand complex social aspects of communication. Children will benefit more from watching educational TV series than just cartoons, there should be balance between both. Studies have shown that educational TV series helps in boosting children’s intellect and their creative minds.

Children would have never been able to see amazing things like wildlife animals, different cultures and traditions without the help of TV. Television gives them the first look of the outside world. By watching broadcast television, children are able to recognize and understand their general surroundings from this sort of media. However, it only helps if the content they are watching is good and positive, rather than watching something negative and getting a bad exposure out of it.

Due to the usage explosion of smartphone and tablet ownership, many people, especially the youngsters have gained many other entertainment alternatives over the past few years. It has made everyone dependent on the internet and they take everything for granted, which leads to them forgetting their traditional roots and how television started off. With the decline of broadcast television, TV viewing has become personal, it is a one to one entertainment now. It has made many introverts who are not able to socialize as they prefer to be in their own zone. This has led to lesser family time, in the past, watching television was a group activity where everyone was unknowingly forced into which watching it together as one. Eventually, unknowingly it has made it into a selfish activity. Broadcast television used to be the older generation’s forte, but now it is difficult for them to adapt as they are not able to catch up with technological advancements. Without having the Smart TV introduced, it was comfortable for them to use as channels were limited. Television used to have a big impact on the way they spend their free time. We perceive people's glamorous life through television series and believe that they are better off than we are and that is because television has encouraged people to think that the world is more violent than it really is. For example, by watching Keeping up With the Kardashians, we believe that it is possible to live such a luxurious life, giving fake hopes and high expectations. Television has contributed to the education sector and has provided general knowledge, showed the viewers’ vast ranges of documentaries and information programs that gave insights socially, culturally and politically.

It has made people’s life more convenient, instead of waiting for the news slot at the specific timing, you can always catch it online when you’re able to and get updated anytime. News and television series are now 24 hours. Advertisers used television as their medium to advertise their brand/product, now with broadcast television dying, they have to think about other media outlets to advertise which attracts the same and even more customers. With television, it attracted a lot of customers within a short period because it used to be the only media platform with visuals in it. Even though, Smart TV makes advertising look even more realistic, everyone is on their smart devices.


TV broadcasting has few substitutes for the timely transmission of interactive audiovisual content. Effective television broadcasting competition is needed to ensure product and service diversity, and to promote and share the benefits of the information economy. Nevertheless, broadcast television is not easy to define anymore. Technological convergence is blurring transmission modes and it is expanding the range of audio-visual content viewing devices. Audio-visual content has become one of the most common trends, it is available on many different devices and it is delivered across multiple broadcasting platforms. Hence, it changes the nature of television broadcasting markets. It makes the process of defining relevant markets even more complex than it already is. Up till today, television broadcasting has become more competitive and it will continue to reach out for new opportunities to exercise market power.

09 March 2021
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