With accessibility to television and film becoming more convenient for the active person, is the TV and Cinema experience declining?

Attending the cinema has always been considered a social experience, then during the 1970s -80s when home video and TV boomed, the audience-film experiences became reduced to a domestic one. Many film scholars felt the cinema had died because people found the conveniences of watching movies at home with their friends and families more appealing.

Could the domestic TV experience now be on its way out too?

With the release of devices like myTV2GO-M Plug and Play Freeview DVB-T Tuners it is possible to watch and record TV/film from your ipads and iphones. So watching television is going to be even more secluded to the individual, almost resembling a book reading experience. I guess another argument could be made for the potential decline of book reading. If people now have access to television and movies when commuting to work or lying in bed, what is preventing the possibility of book reading losing its already reduced demand? When one medium goes through a popularity demotion, this usually causes a domino effect, resulting in even less fashionable mediums declining even more.

It’s not credible to have TV/Films screened on mobile devices!?

Film/TV critics and essayist have been quite consistent in mocking the idea of viewing a film from a mobile device, filmmaker David Lynch famously bellowed “Don’t watch movies on a F*%#ing phone”. So it is clear the actual makers of film/tv material are not keen to the idea of their work being viewed on a mobile device and that is understandable. The amount of time and effort put into producing a film or TV series from an artistic point of view may make the concept of it being viewed on a tiny screen almost degrading. The idea of sitting next to another person and feeding off their reactions and emotions is something great directors have relied on for decades.

However is a social environment as important as we are lead to believe in regards to experiencing the full effect of television or film? Especially in a society where most people lack the time and availability to sit down and watch all films they had been meaning to see.

Are people just latching onto a nostalgic custom and ignoring the fact that like everything, TV and film may need to evolve to survive? We surely cannot control economic and social circumstances, so essentially complaining about the social reductions of the film/TV experience is like crying over spilt milk.

Artistic Mediums unfortunately have to adapt with the times or else they will fall into decline. There are masses of international film festivals that are very successful in preserving the classic notion of the film experience. So even when society dictates that people’s experience of film/TV needs to change, there will always be the option to experience film in its classic manifestation.

Author Information

Matthew Carter

Media and technology researcher for award winning games and gadget company Hitari.