Coming soon to a computer near you: primetime television programming, according to Outfox.tv. You now have the option to watch live TV streams of news, sports, and entertainment, with no need for a paid subscription.
Missed an episode of your favorite prime time TV show? Forgot to program the DVR to record the cliff-hanging, nail-biting season finale? The panic and disappointment of days gone by, no longer affects us. Chances are we will find the missed episode through our provider’s Video On Demand (VOD) service. Possibly at even greater convenience and at little to no cost, it will be found via the Internet, or on the Episodes tab of your favorite network station.
The days are long gone when TV viewers had to depend on scrambling to find a blank VHS cassette to capture their favorite program via a once-only opportunity on their VCR. In fact, a 2014 Gallup poll found just 58% of American households still have VCR machines, a drastic decline from the 88% reported in 2005. It is strongly suspected those homes still hanging on to this particularly antiquated technology, are doing so more from a feeling of nostalgia to play old home movies, wedding videos and historic material rather than the devices forming a valid part of in-home entertainment offerings.
The same poll found wireless Internet access (Wi-Fi) in the home jumped from zero in 2005 to a staggering 73% in 2013. Similar leaps in saturation were found with laptops more than doubling from 30% of households in 2005 to 64% in 2013, and Internet streaming services soared from zero to 39% in the same time frame. Of particular note, is a small but noticeable drop in the popularity of DVD or Blu-ray players by 3%. Consumers, in moves akin to those affecting the outdated VCR, are starting to show signs escaping the limitations of DVD and Blu-ray players, towards the convenience and affordability of on demand digital outlets.
Cable, satellite, and direct TV services provided consumers with more wide-ranging, albeit costly, access to a more flexible and personalized approach to watching television. Tapping into different time zones allows consumers the convenience of watching their favorite late night television show a few hours earlier in the evening. DVR’s and PVR’s introduced the added convenience of recording and storing programs for viewing at the consumers’ convenience. The ability to pause, rewind and replay live TV sent virtual shock waves through the homes of every sports enthusiast. The dream of no more missed baskets, brilliant power play goals or fight night knock outs was aggressively promoted and enthusiastically embraced.
Video On Demand is widely available to consumers through their cable or satellite providers. The new technology extends beyond simply the amount of TV being watched. 80% of people watching TV do something else concurrently. The top activities are browsing the web, checking email, texts and social media. There is significant opportunity for greater viewer engagement capitalizing on the trend away from traditional passive single source consumption. Viewers are proving they are comfortable using a second device while they are watching streaming TV, and in fact appear to be evolving to doing this by default.
All these conveniences also come at a cost, sometimes a very high cost, and also come with limitations. There are memory limitations on DVR’s. The ability to pause live TV is great, but only if you have time to pause it, until you are able to continue viewing conveniently, or before losing the placeholder if the television is accidentally switched to another station.
With 80% of the American market having access to the Internet, television viewing is being redefined, according to the same Gallup Poll mentioned earlier in this article. A television set is no longer necessary hardware to keep up with your favorite shows or sporting events. Top networks like NBC, Fox, ABC and The CW have already recognized and responded to the demand for convenient online television viewing. They offer access to full episodes of their shows through their websites, often only a day after the show airs, just like VOD.
This transition in television viewing has paved the way for platforms like Outfox.tv to provide quality programming to anyone with an Internet connection and a computer or other device. Appealing to many viewers is the more limited advertising, which is a welcome reprieve from the greedy onslaught of commercials in traditional broadcast television viewing. Providing digital entertainment without a subscription fee and a commitment to remaining 100% free of charge is a major part of the offering for their impressively-sized customer base.
Outfox.tv has plans to further increase the convenience of their service by adding mobile platforms to increase the portability to the viewing experience. A key member of Outfox management team tells us, “As we create new product features, we’re in the fortunate position of being able to increase distribution very quickly via our network.” “Our website gives immediate access to all new entertainment content as soon as it comes online, and we’re implementing tools which make it easier for people to share it with their friends.”
Social media has become an enormously popular and widespread tool for people to easily and instantly share their favorite photos and songs with family, friends and followers. Free online streaming will make sharing your favorite TV show or sporting event with all your contacts just as easy and instantaneous.
We’ve witnessed the evolution from the first transmission of a still image over wires in 1862, to 200 television sets in use world-wide in 1936, to the popular introduction of color television in 1956, and High Definition Television (HDTV) in 1996. The next decade promises even more exciting television viewing options with the rising popularity of online services, such as the emerging Outfox.tv. To keep up with the latest trends, you can follow Outfox.tv on Facebook and Twitter.