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What is "television"?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by phrelin, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Feb 7, 2012 #1 of 25
    phrelin

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    What is "television"??? I guess for a long time I felt I knew what "television" meant, but now I have this nagging doubt.

    The introduction into the TV Show Talk forum area of the Netflix show "Lilyhammer" forced me to think again about what we mean when we say "television." I was shocked at the narrowness of the definition at Dictionary.com:

    [​IMG]

    I can't imagine many people limiting the meaning of the term to "broadcast television."

    Wikipedia offers the following which I guess covers it all: "Television (TV) is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome (black-and-white) or colored, with or without accompanying sound." In fact, it feels like it covers too much.

    With Netflix in the mix, I feel uncomfortable with the Wikipedia description as I feel like it covers movies and I guess for me movies weren't television in 1948. But of course we have had "made for TV" movies for decades.

    Is this just an old guys' problem or, worse yet, just one old guy's problem?:confused:
     
  2. Feb 7, 2012 #2 of 25
    Alan Gordon

    Alan Gordon Chancellor

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    I'm quoting a couple of posts on a Blu-ray forum:

    LINK

    LINK

    Suffice it to say, I think your problems will increasingly grow. :)

    ~Alan
     
  3. Feb 7, 2012 #3 of 25
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Love the mention of a "picture tube"!
     
  4. Feb 7, 2012 #4 of 25
    koji68

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    Meh!
     
  5. Feb 7, 2012 #5 of 25
    spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

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    Seems to me you're mixing up different uses.

    A "Television" is the device being used.
    A "Television program" is something originally made to be broadcast on that device.
    "On Television" would be anything shown on the device regardless of the origin.
     
  6. Feb 7, 2012 #6 of 25
    phrelin

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    This is true. But from 1951 to at least 1981, when we said "let's watch television," it essentially meant watch one of the three broadcast networks on a "television set."

    Today I could be streaming something from Netflix or other source that never appeared anywhere on a cable or broadcast channel on a LG Infinia Cinema 3D 1080p 240 Hz LED-LCD HDTV with Smart TV while the sound is coming through my A/V receiver-surround sound system. And Amazon has a learning thing entitled Internet TV 101: Learn About Smart TVs & Devices.

    But, of course, I could stream the same something right now on my computer with its 25" Full HD 1080p monitor.

    So what would it mean to someone if I said "let's watch some TV?" I feel like I'm saying "get a drink from the ice box." That says get [something pretty unspecific] from [something we don't have any more].
     
  7. Feb 7, 2012 #7 of 25
    James Long

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    While purists will complain the form and function are the same. Netflix has become an IPTV service ... and if they provide television programming - or programming typical of television (even if it has never aired on television) then it is TV.

    For years "what is on TV" has meant what is on cable or satellite. Now we have IPTV ... just another form of TV. It is television.
     
  8. Feb 8, 2012 #8 of 25
    phrelin

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    So I guess my old brain will have to adjust to the Wikipedia definition with alterations: "Television (TV) is [strike] a [/strike] any telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving any moving images that can be monochrome (black-and-white) or colored, with or without accompanying sound."

    So right now as I type this, if I have a YouTube video playing in another window, I'm "watching television."

    For me, it is hard to consider it the same as watching a half-hour broadcast of "Gunsmoke" in black and white in 1956 on a television set. Maybe I should tweet my newfound acceptance....:sure:
     
  9. Feb 8, 2012 #9 of 25
    brian188

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    So, now I guess I have to re-define my phone, PS3, PC, etc. Because by that definition my phone, PS3, PC, etc. is a television.
     
  10. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Perhaps the Wiki definition needs re-doing!

    The physical TV for me will always be a set dedicated to such. Also, I don't consider watching Youtube on any medium "watching TV".

    I suppose I might say, "I'm watching TV on my iPad" if I were watching a show made for TV (!) on it. Or "watching a movie on my laptop", but still neither are "TVs".
     
  11. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Isn't that common for wiki entries? Always room for revision.

    I watch TV on YouTube. Some of it probably shouldn't be there due to copyright but there are show clips and full episodes of television programs and televised events available on YouTube. Does TV content cease being TV content just because it isn't on a TV? Nope.

    So if it is "TV content" it is still TV - even if it is streamed by YouTube.

    I wouldn't consider most of the stuff on YouTube to be TV content - although I have seen TV shows based on stuff that is now common on YouTube (America's Funniest Home Videos, Tosh.0 and countless "dumbest" type programs) and many who take their YouTube accounts seriously are producing content and channels that ARE worthy of being on TV (beyond source material to mock people).

    When I watch TV I'm watching content. Yes, the videophiles one can find on the Internet talk so much about their TVs that one wonders if all they do is stare at the set and not the content ... but for most people watching TV is watching the content typically delivered by TV.
     
  12. phrelin

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    Probably because I first had a desktop, then a laptop, then a iPad, then an iPhone, I consider my iPhone simply a hand-held computer with a phone app.

    And let's face it, most of the medium-to-high end TV's being sold today are simply computers built into very big monitors with an ATSC receiver card, a Ethernet or wireless network card, and a bunch of installed apps.

    The thing is, my refrigerator has some built in electronics, but it's still clearly a refrigerator. My iPhone and these newfangled TV's walk like and talk like computers.:scratchin
     
  13. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Indeed. That was my point about saying I was watching TV on my iPad.
    Agreed. But it seems a bit as if you were contending what I said was wrong. My only diff. with what you wrote is about AFHV being based on Youtube. Pretty sure it pre-dated Youtube, and if not, there are other precedents that are even older than the 'Net itself. People Are Funny! Kids Say the Darnedness Things.
    Now, I won't argue that we've crossed several zones into crassness with many of today's copies. Hmmm. Would it be, "People are A**holes" or "Kids say Dumba** things".??:nono2:
     
  14. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    AFHV predated YouTube ... but what I said was "I have seen TV shows based on stuff that is now common on YouTube". Starting in 1989 when AFHV premiered as a special people could share their cute babies, klutzy kids, crotch hits, unintentional or child nudity/near nudity and other embarrassing moments via videocassette sent to producers who sanitized it for broadcast and added music, commentary and a laugh track. Since 2005 people can share the same "personal" clips with the world without the network filters and enhancements via YouTube.

    I suppose editing is the line between TV and home video. AFHV is TV because it is edited and presented via TV broadcast. But raw video similar to AFHV is presented via YouTube --- and some presenters do a fair amount of production, edited and presented via YouTube broadcast. The final difference being the third party. AFHV clips are chosen by a third party for presentation, not self published. But there are YouTube publishers who do compilations and present other people's works. It is getting pretty close to TV.

    Then there are web series that are published via YouTube. Complete drama or comedy programs that would be indistinguishable from TV other than their point of first release. YouTube is user created television. Some of it is total crap, but that also applies to broadcast and cable TV. :)

    I wouldn't call everything or even most things on YouTube "television". But "TV content" exists there.


    This thread started with a lament that the Netflix show "Lilyhammer" was considered TV. In many ways Netflix is a TV service. Few would argue that HBO and TCM are legitimate TV channels (although cable TV). And we have THIS and other broadcast TV channels that focus on movies. Netflix started delivery of movies and broadcast shows via DVD and has moved on to IPTV as a delivery method. Now they (like HBO) have become an outlet for an original production. It isn't that big of a leap to call a Netflix show "TV".
     
  15. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    +1 On Netflix=TV in most cases.

    That is, if I am watching it on TV, I'd tell someone who asked, "Yeah, I am watching TV". If I were watching on my laptop, I'd say "I'm watching a movie on my laptop".... not trying to define it so much as to just say what my usage would be.
     
  16. Rich

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    If it helps, I've seen LG (I think) refrigerators with TVs in the doors.

    Rich
     
  17. phrelin

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    Yeah, but this is still a refrigerator:

    [​IMG]

    I kinda think this is a monitor with a built in computer:

    [​IMG]

    with these features:

    [​IMG]

    You can even plug an external hard drive into the USB ports. Sure, this particular one has a limited web browser, but how long before they put one out that will allow you to use a Google or Microsoft web office suite while watching "TV"? Or some cloud photo or video software?

    Is it really a television, or a computer? But that first thing is a refrigerator.
     
  18. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    If Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Avid and other monster apps run on it, and it comes with a bazillion byte HDD :disk:, I'll start to call it a computer! :computer:

    :p
     
  19. phrelin

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    My Tandy Model II in 1980 wouldn't run all those things, but it was a computer. :D

    Anyway, here is a timely slide show headlined The evolution of telephones that begins with this:

    [​IMG]

    and ends with this:

    [​IMG]

    And the bottom one is a telephone not a computer? :scratchin
     
  20. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    It doesn't have to be mutually exclusive. Why can't it be a telephone AND a computer?

    Trying to fit concepts into tiny little boxes. There is plenty of overlap.
     

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