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Number of Homes With TVs Drops for First Time in 40 Years: Why?

Living 2011/12/02 21:00:00
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Maybe people are getting sick of reality TV? For the first time in the 40 years that Nielsen Media Research has been keeping track, the number of U.S. households with TV sets has dropped, The New York Post reports.



This year, about 115.9 million homes have TVs. Next year, this number is expected to drop to an estimated 114.7 million homes -- even though the number of U.S. households in general has continued to grow, the Post reports. Plus, the number of households without ANY TVs whatsoever is now at its highest level since 1975 (3 percent of homes).

So what gives? Nielsen suggests that following 2009’s transition from analog to digital broadcasting, some people got rid of their TVs instead of buying a converter box or subscribing to cable. The economy has also been bad, making TVs unaffordable for many people (we know we dread getting our cable bill!). And more people are using the Internet and other devices to "watch TV."

That said, there's always the 1 percent. Homes with three or more TV sets are soon expected to account for 56 percent of homes with TVs. But we're wondering if people are getting rid of their TVs simply because there's very little that's worth watching. What do you think?
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Top Opinion

  • Beat Magnum True Hero 2011/12/03 00:31:05
    Other technology
    Beat Magnum True Hero
    +17
    Just for the record, I am absolutely unimpressed by smug people who go out of their way to let everyone know that they don't watch/own a TV.

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  • Bethany Jansen 2011/12/05 06:26:58
    Too much trash on TV
    Bethany Jansen
    The stuff that they allow on tv these days is ridiculous. It is so inappropriate for kids. Like Rango, for instance...supposedly a kids movie, says "damn" and "hell" in it. Since when did that become appropriate?! Last time I checked, we taught our kids not to cuss. Everything on tv is about sex. Even talking car commercials. It's ridiculous. I have a 4 month old. It's great knowing she's going to grow up seeing sex everywhere and hearing cuss words in movies that are supposed to be for children. Kids are being basically forced, by media, to grow up much faster than they should.
  • fuzzy K... Bethany... 2011/12/05 14:45:12
    fuzzy Ken "In G*d We Trust"
    While I agree with you about cussing in children's movies I feel I should point out that sex has been used to sell for a very long time.
  • Bethany... fuzzy K... 2011/12/27 09:41:39
    Bethany Jansen
    +1
    That's probably true. I think I'm just noticing it now. But I don't think it was as obvious as it is now. They used adult humor back then from what I've heard but now they basically just spell it out for you like "we're talking about SEX!" lol
  • Just Jenn for Now 2011/12/05 05:20:12
    Other technology
    Just Jenn for Now
    There's other ways to get television now. Honestly the only thing I need my TV for anymore is VIDEO GAMES, baby!!
  • Whizzy 2011/12/05 02:36:18
    Other technology
    Whizzy
    I would have liked to see an "all of the above" but i think the ability of seeing everything we wanna see on our personal computer/laptop would be the main factor, however homes include kids going to college or otherwise leaving the parental house and with the current economy they have to choose what to buy. I do however also know people that threw out their tv because of all the crap they show nowadays
  • srini 2011/12/05 01:56:50 (edited)
    Other technology
    srini
    When many channels have sites with live streaming, you get zero need for cable--and no need of TV as your computer and monitor will do "nicely".

    Compounded with the fact that much of what is put on TV stinks.
  • CUDDLY BUT STILL CRABBY 2011/12/05 01:30:09
    Other technology
    CUDDLY BUT STILL CRABBY
    I have 2 TVs. I RARELY turn them on. The internet is where the news is at these days.
  • Maximus 2011/12/05 01:01:51
    Too much trash on TV
    Maximus
    I only use my T.V screen to watch Hi Def blu- ray movies from my Computer. Only reason why I still have Direct TV is because my Tahoe has a satellite on it which is subscribed to. Best mobile entertainment ever.
  • beck 2011/12/05 00:19:40
    Other technology
    beck
    +1
    well, i would like to introduce you to the craziest new thing, its called watching television on your computer.
  • Gloria 2011/12/04 23:59:02
    The economy
    Gloria
    Some people can no longer afford cable, the converter boxes are no good unless you can afford an expensive antenna, & who has a home anymore? Even if you have a roof over your head & a good antenna what's on? Cooking shows. Why is that? Who can afford to eat out anyway.
  • 2011/12/04 23:46:35
    Other technology
    Many of my university friends don't own televisions - or only for the purpose of playing video games - and so don't subscribe to cable or satellite, because you can get almost everything online!
  • Reggie☮ 2011/12/04 23:12:54
    Other technology
    Reggie☮
    It's easy to watch on online as well as your phone etc, etc.
  • Puzzler ~Sodahead's 32nd Guru~ 2011/12/04 22:29:12
    Other technology
    Puzzler ~Sodahead's 32nd Guru~
    you can watch tv on smartphones now, or tablets...
  • nadzzy <3 2011/12/04 22:23:06
    Other technology
    nadzzy <3
    We don't have TV but I watch true blood online - I'm not saying where xD
  • Keen Tojones 2011/12/04 22:19:01
    Other technology
    Keen Tojones
    I also think that people are finding the typical and predictable fare of tv too cyclic and depressing.
  • Jenna ☮♡ッ 2011/12/04 20:54:16 (edited)
    Other technology
    Jenna ☮♡ッ
    I think it's mostly due to other technology but "too much trash on TV" was a close second imo. I can barely find anything worth watching.
  • Vanessa :) 2011/12/04 20:54:02
    The economy
    Vanessa :)
    The economy is bad enough
  • momma24 2011/12/04 20:18:19
    Other technology
    momma24
    +1
    Figuratively speaking TV's are becoming like Cassette tapes, outdated. But for me, The trashy smut on the tv is just too much. Nothing like the dumbing down of society at it's greatest when 11 year olds look up to Snooki and women care more about the car you drive, how much cash you have and the guys only care if you look like a playmate. Why let my daughter get her education from propaganda when there are books and traveling. Sorry but the only reason we use our tv is for XBox and Wii and our tv is not real new.
  • DSSSD94 2011/12/04 20:03:40
    Other technology
    DSSSD94
    +1
    And the economy.
  • morning40oz~mad as hell 2011/12/04 19:37:36
    Too much trash on TV
    morning40oz~mad as hell
    +2
    I refuse to watch the propaganda machine that has aided in the brainwashing of this public and the destruction of this country.
  • momma24 morning... 2011/12/04 20:14:36
    momma24
    +2
    Touché!!!!
  • Magnus ☮ RP ☮ 2012 ☮ 2011/12/04 19:02:52
    The economy
    Magnus ☮ RP ☮ 2012 ☮
    +1
    I'm using a 23" HDTV (cost me $249! Compare that to a non-TV tuner High-definiton Monitor of the same dimensions at about $100) as my primary display on a Notebook over an HDMI connection. So Computers are not the answer to this riddle as most Graphics Cards on PC's today utilize the HDMI interface first, and a single DVI as secondary. I'd say today over 70% of PC users are in fact using a HDTV/HD Monitor with their computers, especially Desktop gamers. The days of 15" - 17" CRT displays with computing are over.

    This decline is most likely explained primarily due to the fact that you'll be dropping a chilly $2,000+ (due to inflation, currency devaluation and overall corporate greed in leu of "markups" versus "cost to produce") for a decent HDTV today and one that's actually big enough to be seen clearly from across the average living room. With the old tube-TV's you could get a 50" for less than a grand back in the day.

    Oh, and yes, ALSO... trash on TV! I've cut my TV-watching down to about 4 hours a week. House and Grey's Anatomy, along with the Science, Medical and History channels are all that's left of decent TV these days - for me at least. Everything else... I could give a crap about. Either the writing/scripting sucks and is totally off-base with today's viewers (for ...
    I'm using a 23" HDTV (cost me $249! Compare that to a non-TV tuner High-definiton Monitor of the same dimensions at about $100) as my primary display on a Notebook over an HDMI connection. So Computers are not the answer to this riddle as most Graphics Cards on PC's today utilize the HDMI interface first, and a single DVI as secondary. I'd say today over 70% of PC users are in fact using a HDTV/HD Monitor with their computers, especially Desktop gamers. The days of 15" - 17" CRT displays with computing are over.

    This decline is most likely explained primarily due to the fact that you'll be dropping a chilly $2,000+ (due to inflation, currency devaluation and overall corporate greed in leu of "markups" versus "cost to produce") for a decent HDTV today and one that's actually big enough to be seen clearly from across the average living room. With the old tube-TV's you could get a 50" for less than a grand back in the day.

    Oh, and yes, ALSO... trash on TV! I've cut my TV-watching down to about 4 hours a week. House and Grey's Anatomy, along with the Science, Medical and History channels are all that's left of decent TV these days - for me at least. Everything else... I could give a crap about. Either the writing/scripting sucks and is totally off-base with today's viewers (for example, who wants to be CONSTANTLY reminded of how bad the economy is right now when they're trying to ESCAPE from the days' BS?), or else the acting (lack thereof I should say) just blows it.
    (more)
  • duckman Magnus ... 2011/12/04 23:35:41
    duckman
    The prices are way lower up here in canada for 2000 you can get top of the line lcd 35 tv for about 500 - 700 a decent 37-42 inch lcd
  • Magnus ... duckman 2011/12/05 20:10:06
    Magnus ☮ RP ☮ 2012 ☮
    Yeah, seems everything everywhere else but in America is cheaper now. It's because our currency is failing. Europe is getting the same flack.
  • Koshka 2011/12/04 17:59:28
    Other technology
    Koshka
    +1
    and too much trash on TV lol
  • mightymouse49 2011/12/04 17:35:04
    Too much trash on TV
    mightymouse49
    For me it was too much trash.
  • skroehr 2011/12/04 17:16:44
    Other technology
    skroehr
    +1
    I wish I could say that people are becoming more interested in human activity and communication than in television, but I'm afraid the fact of the matter is that people are just watching programming on the internet at their convenience. This bodes badly for us old farts who like 1 hour network drama programs, because they take a lot of time and money to produce. All that will be on television in a couple of years will be bad sitcoms, and reality/competition shows. And particularly competition shows (reality games). Low production costs. No writing to speak of. etc.

    This leaves the intenet for entertainment, and I think it's premature. There's nothing being written for the 50 - 65 year olds on the internet. Most internet programming is low attention span, and hectic. You can't pass commercial advertisements, and the quality is not yet HD.

    Most of population will be between 50 - 65 soon, (baby boomers), and we're going to need our Harry's Law and Blue Bloods, Law and Order, Unforgettable. As long as the networks keep some of this stuff on during prime time, on old fashioned TV, then we're all good.

    Most of us also enjoy Dexter, Breaking Bad, The Big C, Hell On Wheels, and such like that, (me included), and so I don't mind the emergence of AMC, Showtime, etc. If the...
    I wish I could say that people are becoming more interested in human activity and communication than in television, but I'm afraid the fact of the matter is that people are just watching programming on the internet at their convenience. This bodes badly for us old farts who like 1 hour network drama programs, because they take a lot of time and money to produce. All that will be on television in a couple of years will be bad sitcoms, and reality/competition shows. And particularly competition shows (reality games). Low production costs. No writing to speak of. etc.

    This leaves the intenet for entertainment, and I think it's premature. There's nothing being written for the 50 - 65 year olds on the internet. Most internet programming is low attention span, and hectic. You can't pass commercial advertisements, and the quality is not yet HD.

    Most of population will be between 50 - 65 soon, (baby boomers), and we're going to need our Harry's Law and Blue Bloods, Law and Order, Unforgettable. As long as the networks keep some of this stuff on during prime time, on old fashioned TV, then we're all good.

    Most of us also enjoy Dexter, Breaking Bad, The Big C, Hell On Wheels, and such like that, (me included), and so I don't mind the emergence of AMC, Showtime, etc. If the same programming is just moved to a new media outlet, (the net/streaming), everybody will be okay eventually. But the television industry....both manufacturers and content producers, will need to make the net look really good on a flat screen TV, make controlling it VERY user friendly, and just like controlling a TV with a remote now, and pump some serious money in hour long net dramas which can be found easily, like a channel, and menu system or advertisers are going to lose the upcoming largest demographic in human history to """"gasp""""" books, and kindles.
    (more)
  • sjalan 2011/12/04 16:18:16
    Other technology
    sjalan
    +2
    The younger generation has at their disposal cell phones that will stream almost anything. And computer that will also do the same. Who needs a TV? Really almost no one.
  • fish 2011/12/04 16:08:45
    Too much trash on TV
    fish
    +2
    I think people in this country are either doing one of two things, watching more tv than ever via internet and other gadgets, or turning off entirely, because television has become just a bunch of junk. Getting rid of television is a growing trend in this country. Either the shows are too stupid or the news is too depressing. Besides, it's hard to set time aside to watch television when you are working 2 full time jobs just to make ends meet.
  • Aerosol Diamonds 2011/12/04 16:02:03 (edited)
    Other technology
    Aerosol Diamonds
    +2
    Why go through bullsh*t shows and advertising when you can get equally entertaining bullsh*t online, for free, without advertising?
  • irish 2011/12/04 15:44:55
    The economy
    irish
    +1
    gee,do you think its because of all the newly homeless people who have lost their homes due to the wall street scammers?
  • John Storz 2011/12/04 15:44:45
    Other technology
    John Storz
    +1
    You can do it all with your laptop, Hulu, and Netflix, and WHEN you want it... so really who needs cable?
  • jule-sy 2011/12/04 15:40:15
    Too much trash on TV
    jule-sy
    +2
    Yep, there's very little worth watching. I spend alot of time channel surfing because there are alot of silly new sitcoms on these days and I look for a good movie and can't find one too often lately so I watch my dvds instead. But it is an individual decision.
  • Waiting in the Wings 2011/12/04 15:29:31
    Other technology
    Waiting in the Wings
    +1
    We can watch shows on our computers, phones, and iPads. Sometimes these other technologies are cheaper than a tv.
  • ★misfit★ 2011/12/04 15:05:27
    Other technology
    ★misfit★
    +2
    And the fact that you have to pay big money to get any decent channels anymore. Those are my reasons at least. If I want to watch a show, I'll usually watch it on the internet (like on Hulu) or on DVD.
  • sundance 2011/12/04 14:23:39
    The economy
    sundance
    +1
    Somethings require spinning out of control before they finally develop an equilibrium. This madness is finally starting to peak...Just a thought...
  • Stonecipher 2011/12/04 14:04:52
    Other technology
    Stonecipher
    +2
    Why in the heck need a TV for? Cell phones and PC has all you want to see and or hear.
  • Fisher 2011/12/04 13:52:56
    Other technology
    Fisher
    +2
    Why watch TV while you can do most of everythings in your computer now and especially when you have a laptop that you can even carry it to everywhere.

    The only time I sit down to wartch a show is with the family (or friends) ..like a hockey game or particular shows that we all like.
  • Rayy 2011/12/04 13:42:48
    Other technology
    Rayy
    +2
    We've got three TV's in our house, but I only sit down and watch it when I'm either too lazy to go get my computer or want to watch it while on the computer. Otherwise, I almost never watch TV.
  • myhouseinthewoods 2011/12/04 13:05:42
    The economy
    myhouseinthewoods
    +1
    if we're talking just about people buying tvs then yea cause of this economy, with the unemployment rate going up, people just cant afford to buy them, what has gone up though is crime, there was the mario bros robbery, so with all these distractions happening, the people need to realize that things in the u.s. will not change until we get a real president in office like Ron Paul, or we stand up and fight for our freedoms!

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