Why do people still watch TV?

ChiefReginod

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It always amazes me when I meet grown adults who still watch TV. When I was a kid, I watched all day every day because I didn't know any better, but I stopped in my 20s and I haven't really missed it. Whenever I'm exposed to it now, I'm only reminded why I stopped watching in the first place. Every time, it seems more and more vapid.

Even if you like sitting around watching stuff all day, why not just stream? What does TV have to offer that you can't find elsewhere now? Do you enjoy having no choice over content? Being force-fed billionaire TV magnates' political opinions ad nauseam? And the ads. My god, they're worse than ever.

Why do people still subject themselves to this absolute skullfuckery?
 

The Real Jdbye

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Well, the average person who doesn't pirate would need to subscribe to about a dozen different streaming services to get access to everything they can watch on TV and also somehow know and remember which streaming service everything they like to watch is on which makes TV both cheaper and far more convenient, at the cost of not being able to choose what you want to watch at any given time.
So streaming is hardly ideal either and it's only getting worse the more new streaming services appear who steal exclusives away from other services forcing you to subscribe to even more things. It's basically being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I can't honestly say streaming is much better than TV at this point. I prefer it because I like to binge shows when I find something truly epic, but not everyone is into that. Often people have the TV on for background noise not because they intend to pay much attention to it and that is a purpose it serves well, something streaming services are not really designed for.
With the set top boxes pretty much everybody has these days ads can be easily skipped, so that's not really a big con in favor of streaming (and some streaming services still have ads even though they are paid which are not quite that easy to skip, I'm looking at you Hulu)

Piracy gives me the best experience. I can watch stuff when I want, I don't have to deal with ads and I don't have to subscribe to a dozen different streaming services and then have to deal with micromanaging them all and knowing which show is on which streaming service.
But for various reasons this isn't a good option for a lot of people. Torrents are too much trouble for many, many don't even have a PC and finding a free streaming site that has what you want to watch is also a hassle because if you try to google for it tons of fake sites come up that just serve malware links, and even many of the real ones are full of ads and malware, and they get taken down all the time.
And even this doesn't do a good job at providing a random assortment of content as background noise the way TV does.
 
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JuanBaNaNa

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I stopped watching TV around 2005. I was in middle school. I often just watch the news in irder to stay informed.

But now that you're asking... I certainly don't know why my family still watches TV... stupid anerican shows and shit dumb enough to drive you mad/intolerant.

I guess... people just got used?

I mean... why WE stopped watching TV? 🤔
 
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lokomelo

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In my house we still use TV (over the air free TV). Regular TV has advantages for who have kids. The cartoons have hours to begin and hours to end, this is good for the house routine. Advertisement for kids is forbidden here on TV, so it is another advantage.

As for me, the last thing I used to watch was Formula 1, I stopped last year. This year there is World Cup, probability is that I'll watch on over the air TV, because who watch on streaming get the signal seconds later, so it's kinda boring hear people screaming a goal before your TV shows it.

Other adult living here is my wife, she hates TV since forever.
 

FAST6191

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Ignorance of the alternatives. It is entirely possible to ignore netflix and continue on doing so as they are probably going to implode before too long, disney+ is newer and happily ignored (one wonders what will happen when the free bundle with it money runs out, or how long they will go for it -- if it fails then Disney goes too as the cable TV set dies off), amazon plus being tied to free shipping is pretty genius in the US (in the UK you get free shipping by default most of the time and back when it used to arrive next day most of the time too). American over the air/free satellite is not so bad either and that is not withstanding the buy it on DVD crowd still being a thing.
Plus now it is basically the cable problem of old of 5 channels with stuff on but all split between 5 packages that total small fortune. In some ways I am surprised it took this long but at the same time streaming took way way way longer than it should have (about the time bittorrent got popular was about the time it could have popped, but no it took many more years still).

Habit. Veg out in front of the TV was the standard for many many many years now.

Being burned by the alternatives in more primitive days. I am a super turbo nerd so have had a laptop running videos since 2004 maybe with s-video out I believe it still was back then and I had (still do actually) a box to turn VGA into RF/composite many years before that (had the composite to VGA a few years after that but that was more of a tax dodge). Have had XBMC/kodi since it was on the original xbox and raspberry pis... actually I was late to the party/waiting having observed sheevaplug/pogoplug and troubles these so joined when the larger RAM model B appeared. The earlier implementations "worked" but were hardly paragons of the 20ft interface concept and stability. "Once bitten, forever shy" is I thing I have encountered and had to undo, or indeed even failed to undo, when I or a fellow nerd wandered by before and showed off a new toy to those not necessarily as fond of such things and seeing in potential as I might have been.

Combining the two above. Neuroplasticity, or indeed the lack thereof among the older types, and learned behaviours, especially learned helplessness vis a vis technology, is a thing. Do also consider that while computers for you and I might have been essential tools since the early 90s if not earlier you can still plausibly have only used them as not a multi purpose device but a task specific device until... actually phones might have taken over by that point and they are doing the task specific thing much to my eternal aggravation.

Desire to find something new. I don't disagree with many of your assessments but it is still possible to find something new when watching TV where ze algorithm does often pigeonhole you or provide whatever activist idiots are put in charge of things suggestions to skip over/scroll past. I have to go out of my way to find things, and so often it is still analogue links, recursive searching or coincidental collaboration that see things found. There is also the flip side that it is passive to watch TV, active effort is active effort.

Re adverts (soon to return as well as it is a financial inevitability however much you pay*) don't necessarily ignore tivo, catch up options and the like.

Community. I can almost guarantee everybody in this thread will have radically different video viewing habits online (we can share youtube, bitchute, odysee, rumble and the like histories if you want) so trying to have a conversation over the proverbial water cooler at work tomorrow is going to be hard lest it turn into a video sharing party of sorts. Very few TV shows might tickle my pickle as it were but they are usually made to be watchable enough that you can
See also

*advertising is a very lucrative endeavour. Cutting them out kills companies. You also have the notion that those that pay to avoid adverts are precisely the people you care about advertising to with disposable income so they will try and try and try again to get adverts in front of your eyeballs, eventually enough money will follow an offer during a bad quarter (never mind that said quarter was caused by advertiser sponsored hit piece saying they are bad men running the company) that in they creep.
 
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CoolMe

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Don't watch TV. It's been nearly 15y or something..
TV shows/Movies/anime are a separate matter though..
 

Marc_LFD

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i watch mainly free sat tv and STAY AWAY From the BBC As the Pc woke crt PUSHERS
That doesn't add up, because in order for you to watch Live TV in accordance to the U.K. TV License, you have to pay almost £160 ($193).

Source: https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one

I watch movies and shows via a USB plugged to my Android TV Box. Additionally, I watch YouTube and Pluto TV although I rarely do now, and when I do I go straight for Cops' episodes.

Pluto TV pretends that it's "real" TV when in actuality it's no different than YouTube with ads.
 

The Catboy

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I haven’t really watched TV for years now. I watch a bit while I am at my in-laws but I am always confused as to why people still watch it. Like, why are you watching shows that are chopped up? What’s enjoyable about having a fuck ton of commercials, most of which are cringe af? Bonus for cable/dish/direct, why are paying for a service that censors everything and also still has commercials?! I am only guessing they don’t know any better or are just used to this nonsense, but years streaming (and piracy~) has really made me not enjoy TV
 
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Chary

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Because they're old and they literally don't know better.

My uncle, who's in his late 60s, is paying about $200 a month for his TV bill. He loves sports and likes to watch Friends re-runs. I'm very opposed to having cable, cuz, like, why lol? He and my dad were talking, and my dad was like, so, do you have the "free cable" too? By which he meant my Plex server. My uncle was stunned to find out that, wow, cable is actually dead, and you can ahem, freely, acquire whatever you need in order to watch the MLB and all the Friends re-runs you could ever hope to see.
 

R3DRE111AVER

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CeeDee

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I don't really watch TV personally, but there are absolutely things I miss about the "cable TV experience" compared to streaming services.
I genuinely miss the feeling of a TV schedule, watching assorted episodes of assorted shows instead of watching one show, in the same broadcast order, every time. "Binge culture" isn't as fun. For what it's worth, HBO Max does now let you shuffle episodes of a single show, which is a step in the right direction.
Streaming doesn't even really have the benefit of "no ads" anymore when most streaming services do very much have ads unless you pay more for an "ad free" plan.
 

Glyptofane

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I watch movies and shows via a USB plugged to my Android TV Box. Additionally, I watch YouTube and Pluto TV although I rarely do now, and when I do I go straight for Cops' episodes.

Pluto TV pretends that it's "real" TV when in actuality it's no different than YouTube with ads.
I was using the Unsolved Mysteries channel on Pluto TV to help me fall asleep for a while. Robert Stack's voice is so soothing and hypnotic.
 
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plasturion

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Because you just press one button and that's all, addictive bad habbit. TV has commercialized so much it's getting disgusting now knowing they only put thier unhealthy agenda stuff so it's getting irritating that you only want to turn it off. The same i can say to all the netflix s**t. Anyway, what i can watch, I can't find Hello Spank anywhere else than on Italia 1. And It's hard to start day whitout that nice doge. Also I like to lurk on fta hours of NHK / JSTV. However agree, there are better ways to waste your time.
 

spectral

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That doesn't add up, because in order for you to watch Live TV in accordance to the U.K. TV License, you have to pay almost £160 ($193).

Source: https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/check-if-you-need-one
Freesat is the name of the Satellite service you can watch without a sub. Freeview is the name of the service over an antenna. As you pointed out neither are actually free as you need a license, but it is what they are called.

As for why people watch TV I find it's usually older people stuck in their ways.
 
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Veho

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Habit, mostly.
Morning programming has some decent content for my kids, and as lokomelo said, it's scheduled, has a set time limit, and it's varied. And the evening programming has comfy murder mysteries I can half-watch while I wind down. I have Netflix and HBO MAX available but most shows there I have to binge or I'll just give up halfway, and that takes dedication and effort. But I can veg out to Miss Marple any day of the week.
 
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