Matthew Roach

The onDemand generation

When I was growing up we only have 5 TV channels, and that fifth channel was quite new too, for my early years we had four channels at our home. Back then that seemed great, even better when we got the new channel 5. Getting home from school and having a cup of tea and numerous biscuits we would sit in front of the television watching the children’s programs, and every 15 or so minutes the advert breaks would appear, for a few minutes.

As I grew up I learnt that a black and white square box would appear in the top right to highlight an ad break was coming very soon. Back then we thought nothing of ad breaks, all part and parcel of watching television, even better as you could nip for a toilet or make another cup of tea.

Spring forward 20’ish years and now I have a son, who does a few similar things to what I used to growing up.

He watch’s TV after coming home from school once his homework is done, or the weather is bad, in the mornings, quite a lot, but not too much. But… He never gets an advert break!

Why is this? Because he never actually watch’s normal TV, he is either consuming Netflix, BTVision, NowTV, or stuff we have downloaded. One might not find this bad, but the interesting thing is that the other week there was a children’s movie on Sunday afternoon television, one he really likes, so I decided we would watch that.We started watching just as it had began, 15 to 20 minutes in the first advert break came, the surprise of my son who did not know what was happening, as he had watched this movie many times before and knew that something else was to appear not some random TV.

When the advert break appear he was not best pleased. Trying to explain advert breaks to a five year old who has never experienced them before is very difficult. Since then we have tried to introduce more normal TV where possible, and still he struggles with the advert breaks.

One other thing I have noticed with my son is, he is very aware of the ability to Pause, Stop, rewind or forward parts of a TV program, and the more normal TV we have introduced to him he thinks he has the same control, while we have BTVision he is able to do it, but when visiting family it can get a bit tricky.