The television at the corner of your living room, or attached to the wall of your bedroom, is a common feature in virtually everyone's home. Viewers in the Far East are just as enthusiastic about their ubiquitous TV sets as consumers anywhere else in the globe. But what sort of televisions will viewers be watching in the not-too-distant future?
What most commentators will agree on is the fact that while there is any number of trends going a long way towards predicting future technology, two main areas will undoubtedly have a major influence.
The days where television companies were commissioned to produce programmes, which were then broadcast to their viewers according to strict timetables, have long gone. Video and then DVD recording technology saw the start in the shift towards increasing power being placed in the viewers' hands. This has exploded in recent years.
The fact that technology has evolved to the extent that people are just as likely to be watching their favourite shows on their laptop screens or phones has been another seismic shift. 'TV on demand' means that viewers can choose when they watch particular programmes. A further component that has had a major impact on the potential for different ways to watch television has been that true phenomenon of the early 21st century – social media. TV programme planners will want to keep one eye on the way that people are interacting with one another. There will be increasing opportunities for viewer-created content, as people choose to harness the technology that is making, for instance, video-making so straightforward and cheap. Friends will begin creating shows for their own little niche of Facebook friends or Twitter followers.
The remote control has had a revolutionary effect on how television is watched. Red buttons introduce a whole new layer of interactivity, enabling viewers to meander off in new directions half way through their favourite shows. This will be particularly effective with news bulletins. As well as possessing the ability to freeze the action, you'll be able to go off in study related images on extra screens – in much the same way as surfing the internet through a browser allows you to open multiple windows.
In tandem with this development for television viewing, there are many other ways for people to receive news content. The advent of social media has meant that people can pick up news instantly, as it happens. Tweeted stories and pictures can capture stories instantly, without the viewer having to wait for any laborious editorial process to be enacted.
As news consumers are presented with increasingly sophisticated touch-screen interfaces on tablets, television companies will devote more and more time to web-disseminated content – content that also allows for interactivity as viewers react to the news, by commenting on forums, or social media.