The Future of TV

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The Future of TV by NBC 15 WMTV. The future of tv is changing - check out the latest viewing habits and technology. Posted: Sunday, February 1, 2015 --- 10:10 p.m. Television's come a long way from rabbit ear antennas. New technology and people's viewing habits are changing the face of tv. WMTV Chief Engineer Tom Weeden explained, "Decades ago, television was appointment viewing. We were all going to sit down in front of the tv and watch the show together." We all know that life has sped up quite a bit since then. And now everyone wants their favorite shows at their fingertips. "People want to watch what they want to watch, when they want to watch it, on the device they have with them," said Weeden. There was quite a bit of time between the move from antenna tv, to cable, to satellite. But those options left some viewers wanting more flexibility. "One of the complaints about a cable or satellite subscription is that a lot of times you're paying for channels you never watch," said Weeden. Now, with the creation of internet tv there are more choices than ever before. "There are devices you can buy now like Roku, or Apple TV or Google Chrome, that allow you to connect an hdmi cable between the unit and your tv set and wifi to the internet and now you're suddenly able to watch any number of channels that may not be available on cable tv," added Weeden. Many of the companies that resisted offering their content online have changed their minds. Just last week, Dish Network launched Sling TV. A small bundle of cable networks including ESPN and TBS that stream through the internet. WMTV Operations Manager Geoff Shields explained, "If the Dish Network, Sling TV offering is successful I think you will see others follow suit with different varieties of bundles of programs. Content is still driving the bus." The way people are watching tv is changing, but the technology's constantly evolving as well. The latest addition is television in 4K. "Essentially you're taking what a normal 1080 display is and you're multiplying it by four to give you four times the definition and quality. It really immerses you in the picture and makes the picture feel much deeper in the screen," said Damon Lemke, a sales associate at Grand Appliance and TV in Sun Prairie. All 4K tvs and most new televisions on the market are considered Smart tvs. "That builds an on board computer basically into the tv. It allows you to do Facebook from your tv, stream apps, Netflix and things like that directly to your tv without having an external box," said Lemke. Using a Smart tv or internet video service will allow you to 'cut the cord' so to speak. "If you want to cut the cable company, you're probably going to be able to do so by the end of 2015 and just buy a la carte tv via the internet. You can stream the shows you want and watch the episodes you want much like Netflix, but up to date shows, and stuff that's being released as it's coming out," added Lemke. There are more companies than ever competing for your time in front of the couch each night. And the future of cable will depend on how they decide to keep up. "They either need to really get on board with getting ahead of the technology and keeping their price affordable, or unfortunately getting out of the way and getting on board with doing everything internet and let everyone up their bandwidth and cut down on their cable subscriptions," said Lemke. "I think a lot of tv viewing in the future is going to be on demand. People are going to go for more convenience I think. And it's going to be driven more by copyright and negotiations than it is by the technology," added Weeden.