Television is all about locking yourself into someone else's timetable.
- Each show comes on when your network decides it comes on.
- You can't go back in case you missed something.
- You can't rewatch a particular enjoyable scene.
- You can't pause.
- You can't stop it and continue it later.
- You can't skip an annoying scene.
People miss appointments or go to bed late because they just had to know what happens. Parents have to fight with their kids to get them to do homework, which would make them miss their favorite show.
People don't take proper care of themselves by not going to use the facilities when they need to, or getting a drink, or answering the phone. The list of problems goes on and on.
This problem was always apparent, and many people bought video cassette recorders, or other newer devices to get the same job done. But there were those that didn't, and instead preferred to torture themselves.
Okay, at first the technology may have been annoying (video cassettes), then it was too expensive. It's always another annoying peripheral in your house for the most part just taking up space. But why is this still going on today?
If you read this site often, it's quite likely you own your own computer at home and have a high speed internet connection. There's also a good chance if you bought a computer or new hard drive in the past few years, that you have gigabytes of free space that you have no idea what to do with.
If you own what I described above, why would you want to torture yourself so? Many stations are now putting their shows on their website which you can watch in mid-quality annoying flash. But ignoring that, nowadays, there are tons of people who record the show and then share that recording via Bit Torrent or file sharing websites.
Unlike traditional home recording techniques, quite often you don't even have to program your device when to record for you anymore - when using a computer. Many "Online Television" sites provide RSS feeds that you can subscribe to which would automatically download your favorite shows as each episode comes out. You don't have to screw up setting to record at 3:59, and finding out your time was three minutes behind the network, and you missed the beginning. Or instead of setting the end time to 5:01, you screwed up and selected 4:01, and recorded a grand total of two minutes of your hour long show.
These sites generally have the shows up a couple of minutes after they air in the earliest timezone showing them, and the files are of good quality, yet small enough to be downloaded in just a couple of minutes. If you happen to live in a later timezone, many times you can be finished watching a show before it even airs where you live.
So who exactly is still torturing themselves? And why?
Before you question, what would happen if everyone only started watching "Online Television", who exactly would be doing the recordings? We have to ask ourselves why aren't the companies producing these shows using the new medium available to distribute them? If they had an RSS feed with all the new shows set up to be downloaded via Bit Torrent on them (advertisements included), I'm sure many people would subscribe to them. They could even charge a few bucks a year to gain access to a private torrent, cutting out the middlemen (networks, cable companies) they use.