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Television viewing patterns were not static over the medium’s first 60 years.
New technologies contributed to many of the changes that occurred.
A third variation occurs when new technologies such as advanced digital cable systems provide platforms for the development of new services, such as VOD or interactive program guides.
New media technologies may also be distinguished by who controls services and content.
Others, whose families could not afford a TV (costing six weeks’ salary for an average household in the late 1940s) and who had already worn out their welcome at the homes of neighbors, may recall hanging out in neighborhood taverns or department stores to catch a glimpse of television. TVs were also located in many other public spaces that simply wanted to draw people.
Watching TV in public locations built an appetite for the new medium and encouraged word-of-mouth discussion that led to its adoption in homes.This information is important for advertisers and contributes to a broad understanding of the television experience, but by itself, it provides a rather superficial understanding of the subject.Academic research, especially in recent decades, has emphasized the potential social impacts of content on audiences: for example, whether television content reinforces racial and gender stereotypes.The print version of this book is available for sale from the University of Michigan Press.For more information, read Michigan Publishing's access and usage policy.Some are under the control of the user, not requiring content created specifically for them.For example, DVRs are under users’ control and do not require separate content from program providers (except for the channel guide needed for scheduling what programs will be recorded), although some producers offer content specifically for DVRs.People old enough to recall when television first entered their homes in the late 1940s or early 1950s can recount strange tales of viewers so mesmerized by this new technology that they watched test patterns broadcast before or after the regular programming day.When programs were on the air, not only did the family watch television as a group but, on any given evening, friends and seemingly half the neighborhood might drop by to watch the magic box. press accounts of television indicate that much viewing occurred in public places, including bars that wanted to attract customers and department stores that wanted to sell TVs to consumers.In other cases, the technology has little value by itself without content.For example, HDTV sets require either HDTV programming or DVDs if viewers are to gain additional value.