According to a small US study, people just don’t get the idea of video on demand.
Five Bostonian families had their access to broadcast video cut entirely over Christmas and replaced with the latest video-on-demand technology. Deciding what to demand proved more than most of them wanted – the act of flipping channels is too ingrained to disappear just because the technology makes it redundant.
“Constantly having to pick what to watch next was daunting not only because it interrupted the usual flow of TV-time activities in the house or required interacting with unfamiliar interfaces but also because of the cognitive load involved in considering all of the numerous content alternatives,” said the researchers.
Which I think is interesting; I know that I channel flip a bit, but almost everything I’m really looking forward to I record and then view later – it gets rid of all the commercials and it means that I can move about if I feel the need. In fact, last night was the first time in a long while that I made an effort and watched something as it was broadcast (because TLW had two programmes recording at the same time). And the show was Outcasts, the new sci-fi effort from Auntie Beeb.
It has promise, I’ll give it that. But it is also clearly going to annoy me considerably, just because of the initial behaviour of the characters. Weapons bans and secret spies in a town on a new and unknown planet? Who thought that was a good idea?
Still, I’ll try it for a few episodes. It could end up being less annoying than it initially appears.