Mobile Viewing: Television on the Go

For generations, the concept of watching television was something that had to be experienced by appointment. Before the concept of syndication emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s, you really only had one opportunity to catch the latest episode of your favorite show. If you wanted to watch the latest episode of the groundbreaking sitcom “All in the Family,” for example, you actually had to be in your home and in front of the television set at the precise time that show aired. If you missed it, you likely wouldn’t be able to see that particular half hour of television until the network decided to rerun it – if that ever happened at all.

Thanks to advancements in technology and the increasingly mobile-oriented society in which we live, the virtual tables have turned. Television is no longer a “by appointment” experience. In just a few short years, it has turned into a completely “on demand” medium. Instead of rushing home on Sunday night to catch the newest episode of a show like “Breaking Bad,” you can instead enjoy it whenever you’d like. You don’t even have to watch television shows on an actual television set anymore. You can watch shows just as easily on your desktop or laptop computer or even a mobile device like your Apple iPhone, iPod Touch or i Pad.

Television on the go is made possible through a combination of services offered by content providers and through a series of apps designed for your specific device. If you wanted to watch the newest episode of “Game of Thrones” while on the bus on the way to work, for example, you could download and install the HBO Go application onto your iPhone. All you would need to do is log into your account, tap the name of the episode that you wanted to watch and start your viewing experience on your own terms.

To begin your mobile television experience, you would first need to go to a site like CableTVAdvisor.com/cable-providers/ and find a service that meets your mobile needs. You would then need to find an application for your specific device that allows for mobile streaming on cellular data and Wi-Fi connections. Often, these streaming services relate to your particular cable plan. If you want to stream HBO on your IPTV, for example, you need to actually subscribe to HBO with your cable service.

The caveat to the whole experience is that not all cable television providers have been quick to jump onto the “television on the go” experience. Cable television stations still license content to the cable companies themselves for viewing. These licensing agreements dictate what can and cannot be shown on any particular provider’s service. A channel like AMC may be on one provider, for example, but not necessarily on a competitor. Because those licensing agreements are still the primary way in which both content providers and cable providers make their money, the cable providers have a great deal of leverage with regards to who can watch what and where.

Courtney Whitehead watches TV on the go. An avid writer, she likes to share her insights by blogging on the Internet.