The Viewing Experience – PC vs Smart TV vs Smartphone vs Big Screen

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The previous decade has witnessed an entertainment boom like Amazon Prime and Netflix internationally, while in India, local entertainment apps like Hotstar, Sony Liv, Colours Voot, etc., rule the roots. 

One no longer needs to stick to a singular medium to watch their favourite series or movies. There are plenty of choices. The computer has already occupied the lives of many of us. Now’s the turn of the smartphone. But, that’s not the only medium where you can conveniently and comfortably watch your favourites.

Viewing in general:
In the past, movie theatres outdoors and TV indoors dominated most of our lives. If you wanted to have a good movie experience, the single screen theatres were the preferred choice. TV’s with their small screens always positioned themselves as an anytime viewing medium provided you’re in a home setting. 

What was the problem with TV? You have to go to it. Unlike a smartphone, you take it with you. Then came the multiplexes. There are multiple options for people to view movies. If they had watched one movie, they could probably view another one on the same day. 

It’s all a matter of grandeur that one talks about but seldom realises it. For instance, if a new movie is released and you – a fan, will prefer to view it on a big screen. It may or may not be a family thingy. TV is more of a family thing where everyone sits facing it to watch a series or movie. 

A smartphone is the most personal thing. One wishes to view series and movies within the confines of their space.  

Movie viewing the diversification:
Which medium you wish to view your movie is not a question of when but if. If the movie is a big release and you want to experience the grandeur in 3D, then a TV or smartphone does not offer a similar experience. 

A fine example is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. All of their films are released in 3D and some even in 4D. Does viewing in 3D or 2D matter? Then again, it is a matter of experience and not availability. Cost may be a factor for some but not for fans. 

Getting the wrong film in 3D, the basis of a 3D film is the visual spectacle. Take sci-fi films as an example, space battles are visuals to behold. The rapid change of the camera angles from a wide view to cockpit view contribute immensely towards building an experience. The same goes for never before seen locations. 

A film that lacks this spectacle is doing injustice to the visual experience. It is important to understand what viewing experience does your film contribute towards. If the film is inclined towards a visual experience that forms part of the story makes sense for 3D. 

The drawback of theatres and multiples is that it is meant for fans and a curiosity filled audience. For someone who wants to experience the epic saga of star wars, especially first-timers, a theatre would be an obvious choice. But, not everyone would go to theatres to view it. The reach is minimal.  

TV: No longer the idiot box since smart TVs have taken their place, though not completely. If you don’t have a smart TV, then you can easily convert your existing one with an Android TV set-top box. 

A TV has been long associated with a family thing. All members of the house come together to watch movies or series that may have a common interest. The wider reach of the TV cannot be denied. It is more than a theatre or a multiplex. So, if you wish to reach a wider audience, TV is still considered the best medium. 

Despite living in the digital age, marketing on the TV is still expensive and continues to grow. Here are some facts from The TV advertising revenue in India grew to 262 Billion with a ‘B’ rupees! 

The disadvantage of the TV is simple. Marketing cannot be measured. The reach is not a guarantee unless you expand the avenues. 

Let me now take you to smartphones. This medium is more personal and may have a wider reach, personalisation and measured than other mediums. The major disadvantage of viewing movies or series on a smartphone is the small screen.  

Why have I not talked about PCs? The viewing experience is partially similar to a TV and smartphone. 

The smartphone and the TV have one thing in common that is the interaction that makes them the best-measured medium.

The viewing experience:
It all boils down to what want to view. TV, smartphone or PC may be the secondary medium if the primary medium – theatre is unavailable. It can work in any order as a matter of preference. 

My preference is the PC over Smart TV. I have stopped viewing series and movies on my smartphone because of the disadvantage of the screen size. Most of the time I watch YouTube on my phone and PC. Of course, the PC has other uses as well. 

The larger the screen larger is the preference. Theatres are places where movies are screened and not series. PC and smartphones are best for series, Smart TVs also falls in this area.  

What’s better? 
It all comes to personal preference. What medium do you wish to have a better experience. More of a personal experience in a personal space will lead you to a smartphone or PC. 

There are advantages and disadvantages to all of the three mediums. 

TV covers the entire family but falls between the phone and the theatres when it comes to the viewing experience. TV may not offer personal space due to the presence of other members of the family who are not supposed to step into your space. Stepping or not stepping is not a matter of choice as such restrictions cannot be implemented in a home setting.

Smartphones offer the personal space one required but they must be enjoyed in a personal space to enjoy. 

Theatres can or cannot be a family thing and subjective from person to person. What you may like, the other may not. 

I am a blogger, YouTuber and Indie Music Producer navigating my way through a massive sea of words, games and soundwaves!

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