TV is definitely not stuck in the 70s, and here's the proof

Cook needs to look a bit harder

TV

With the news this week that the iPlayer has extended its window for watching to a full month, the arrival of even more channels on Virgin Media's streaming service and the steady roll-out of Sky's impressive new feature set you'd be forgiven for thinking that television is entering a new golden age.

Yet just a few weeks ago Apple's chief executive Tim Cook took the opportunity during an interview with Charlie Rose to launch a scathing attack on television.

"TV is one of those things that, if we're really honest, is stuck back in the 70s," he said.

"The interface is terrible. I mean it's awful. And you watch things when they come on, unless you remembered to record them."

Cook, of course, was talking very much from the viewpoint of a North American, and of course was keen to push his own Apple TV, but as far as I'm concerned he could not be more wrong about television in the UK.

I watch a fair bit of live television - I'm a football fan for one, and I like to watch the news when I'm drifting into being fully awake in the mornings, neither of which lend themselves to "non-linear" watching which Cook is referencing.

But as an inveterate TV addict I watch virtually everything else through a myriad of decidedly non-70s methods and, I know, I'm not alone in this.

This week alone I watched an episode of Arrested Development on Netflix on my phone, downloaded an episode of Justified Season 5 to my iPad using Sky Go Extra, watched a film on demand through my set top box, used the BBC iPlayer on a laptop and, of course, watched plenty of shows that I had recorded on my DVR.

And actually even that last one was a little novel. One of the shows I watched I hadn't even set to record, but my Sky box had seen that I had series-linked it previously and recorded the start of the new season.

I found out about another series starting through an email reminder service I had set up through Sky and also started watching another after spotting it in the 'new and recommended' section on the interface and, last but not least, I watched a pilot I has somehow missed on catch-up.

I think you'd have to agree that this isn't really 70s TV watching. I subscribe to three streaming services: Sky Go, Netflix and Amazon Prime, I have a Chromecast, and with a full satellite package to boot I don't often find there is anything that I can't choose to watch - either on a device of my choosing or my television.

That's not to say it's perfect. Some of these processes are dated and others are far from seamless. But it's certainly not massively more so than some of the things we do on tablets and phones.

Tablets and phones are so stuck in the 70s aren't they?

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