By Make Lemonade staff editor Janelle Blythe
Technology has advanced a lot since Goodnight Kiwi and his nameless cat used to appear devotedly every evening to inform us all that it’s time to turn off those screens and head to bed. These days most of us are lucky to get a full night’s sleep without digital interruption despite the warnings about negative impacts this may have on our health.
We are information junkies and just can’t get enough on screen action whether in bed, in the bath, in the car, at the beach or even on the bike. The exciting thing is we are now free to watch TV anywhere so let’s embrace the fact!
New Zealanders are being introduced to greater internet speeds, new online streaming channels, gadgets and increased on-demand services. As these services and related technologies become cheaper and easier to adopt, it is only a matter of time before television sets become yet another novelty retro item gawked at with perplexity by inquisitive 12 year olds.
It’s likely that most households will hang onto their tellies until they become obsolete but surely computers or hand-held devices wirelessly connected to ultra slim screens or with inbuilt projector screens will take over as the preferred family entertainment viewing platform. We’ll soon be able to say goodbye to the monstrosities caused by people drilling holes in walls and installing brackets in lounges and bedrooms.
With advances in wireless technologies, gone will be the entanglement caused by connecting TV cable to DVD player, satellite cable to TV, sound cable to TV, gaming device to TV and so on. Imagine a more flexible home entertainment option where you can shift from the man cave to formal lounge or family lounge to bedroom without needing a tellie in every room. Many Kiwis have already ditched their TVs instead opting for wireless capable projector screens.
It’s no longer necessary to connect to national television services and wait more than a year before your favourite show makes it to the bottom of the earth before you are told you’re allowed to watch it by some overpriced satellite service. These days most shows and sports events can be rented or purchased online and handheld devices and gadgets like Google Chromecast and Apple TV make it such easy viewing.
The good thing is that the consumer is dictating this change and, better still, the consumers driving most of this are young, digital savvy and unwilling to pay ridiculous prices for something they know they can access elsewhere.
This can only mean a positive change for New Zealanders as to whether it’s the hardware or services, the way we experience television is changing. It will only be a matter of time before we get to watch our favourite shows on-demand during the same week and at equal price to our American and UK counterparts.
So New Zealand, let’s say goodbye to TV by embracing those online streaming services and supporting them to succeed!
P.S. It will result in many sleepless nights binge-watching the favourite drama series so ignore those health warnings, cook up some popcorn and delve right into it ?.
P.P.S. FYI binge-watch was Collins’ dictionary’s word of the year in 2015 so that makes it okay.
P.P.P.S. If you weren’t around in the 80s and 90s Goodnight Kiwi used to appear on NZ television in the evenings when it was time for broadcasting to shut down for the night – yes TV wasn’t always 24/7! It was a novelty for kids if you were allowed to stay up late enough to see Goodnight Kiwi. Check out the original animation here.