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The cycles of interactions among technology, behavior, and programs can continue over many years or decades.At the beginning of the process, few observers can anticipate the longer-term effects of technological change.
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.
Television viewing is not context-free: in particular, it is affected by the technologies used to access programs, the social spaces where it occurs, the values and interests of those who are watching, and the forms of content that are available.
Driven by the needs of advertisers, commercial research about television viewing has emphasized what programs people watch and the size and composition of audiences.
Television viewing patterns were not static over the medium’s first 60 years.
New technologies contributed to many of the changes that occurred.Will they lead to new forms of programming and threaten existing programs and business Some new media technologies are independent of any new services but can nonetheless affect TV viewing behavior: for example, the remote control did not provide a new service as such but led to more channel changing and a different TV viewing experience for many people.In other cases, new technologies and new services are closely linked: for example, DVRs, which were designed to enable users to capture programs for later viewing, fast-forward through content, and provide instant replays.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.How does technology affect the behavior of viewers, where TV viewing occurs, and the content created?In turn, how do other factors in the broad TV viewing context influence what new media technologies are developed and which succeed or fail?As a technology is adopted, it often leads to lasting changes in user behavior: for example, the remote control led to more changing of channels.In response, behavioral changes can lead to the creation of new forms of programming.This baseline is based on an examination of what happened when black and white television sets were introduced in late 1946, after a series of experiments and false starts in the 1920s and 1930s.The first new technology to affect TV viewing was TV itself.