|We Love Web TV|
|Written by Murphy Simmonds|
Watching TV on the web makes you realise just how rubbish old style TV actually was
Telly's gone all useful. Thanks to the marvellous BBC iPlayer, Channel 4's 4OD and whatever rubbish ITV is using to channel its low calorie guff, catching your favourite shows at convenient times has become so easy you could manage it while dangling upside down in a vat of lions.
The situation has got even better following the launch of a pimped-up Channel 4 web service. Instead of requiring you to download an annoying separate programme like a chump, the 4OD catch-up service runs from your browser. All you need to do is visit the site and pick a show, then collapse on the sofa while your brain switches off and trickles out your nose. And where the previous system was only available to normal people who run Windows, new hyper shiny 4OD also works on Linux and Macs. Not much point in that - Linux people are too busy hacking into the Pentagon and Mac owners get so distracted by their own smug reflection in the screen that they can barely do anything at all - but it's a nice thought."To the elderly, four channels seems like the insane luxury of a spaceman"
A brief immersion in 4OD and its cohorts is all it takes to make you realise just how crap normal TV actually is. Prior to the rise of satellite broadcasting here in the British Isles, we had a measly four channels to choose from. That's crazy. You'd schlump down in your chair, flick on the box and have to emotionally attach yourself to a minumum of 25 per cent of available shows. Surely we deserve to be more selective that that. How often do you look at a range of things and like at least 25 per cent of them? It doesn't work with people, it doesn't work with jobs and it doesn't work with food, so why should it work for telly?
Alright, it definitely works with food. And probably for people. Shut up.
But it gets crazier. To the elderly, four channels seems like the insane luxury of a spaceman. They remember an era when there was just BBC 1, which meant they had to wait for days before anything they actually wanted to watch would appear. Then again, it was so new back then that the BBC could have shown a broadcast of somebody making pottery and the crusty-eyed war vets would have lapped it up like simpletons.
Oh that's right, they did.
Before that, of course, there was nothing. Just a blank void transmitted from nowhere, leaving everyone to entertain themselves by listening to "the wireless", reading books, talking to each other and baking things out of suet. It was hell - a safe, simple, charming and lovely hell.
Everything's changed since then. The airwaves are pumped so full of worthless chuff that you need windscreen wipers on your glasses just to find anything decent. Navigating that ocean of fluffy effluent without a search function is a grim prospect, and so web TV is not merely a convenience - it's a necessity.
And it couldn't have come too soon. The terrifying exponential growth of televised media over the last decade or so was threatening to chase us away for good, in search of more homely pursuits. And that would have been a disaster. We're really not good with suet.
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