Imagine sitting down around the octagon of an evening to catch up on the day’s news over an appetising TV dinner. Can’t see it? Believe it or not, the world’s first working television, produced in the 1920s, was not shaped in the familiar ‘box’, but as an eight-sided set.
To be fair, this television was never produced for consumers and given that the screen was a mere three inches wide, this was probably a good thing when it came to enticing consumers to the amazing new audio-visual experience.
The world has come a long way when it comes to TV. From black-and-white to colour, to the more recent applications of flat screen technology, 3D and 4K. Did you know there is even an 8K? Soon enough, we’ll all have virtual reality televisions in our living rooms for a completely immersive experience.
Even as the physical aspects of televisions have changed, so have our viewing habits. We now have more devices that allow us to watch television in our houses than ever. Yet our desire to merely sit and passively watch what appears on them has waned.
According to PwC’s Australian Entertainment and Media 2017-2021 Outlook consumers still want to watch most of TV and video content on ‘the tube’, and free-to-air TV still accounts for the majority of content consumed each week. However, content consumption is changing as users demand more personalisation in their media use, and the popularity of video streaming platforms rises. In fact, it’s predicted that in just the next few years to 2021, subscription video-on-demand (VoD) services will grow from AU$560 million to AU$894 million, a 16.4% increase.
In 100 years, the way in which we consume television, much like the sets we watch them on, has changed relatively little. In another century however, we might be watching a very different show.