SCREAMING STREAMING-PLUS OR MINUS

It isn’t really any surprise that streaming video, the type of programming content that is accessible through a broadband internet connected source, now dominates the ways folks can get their television and related programming for those to consume.

Horowitz Research, a media research group, recently released a survey report conducted earlier this year that asked some 2200 domestic video content users of adult age on their habits on viewing content through streaming services as well as alternative outlets. (Cable and traditional over-the-air sources.)

Based on the report, some two thirds of those replacing (66%) stated that they mostly watch video content through streaming service, while one to three hours per week are devoted to cable and over the air.

The ones that stream state they use an average of seven ‘channels” for streaming, four that are subscription and the remainder are free a.k.a. ad supported.

As to the ones that are paid/subscription, Netflix still dominates. However, thanks to Netflix raising their prices, as well as the heave source of competition that’s been springing up of the last few years, they don’t have as much subscribers as they once held on to as they hold 22% of the market, down from 39% as found in the last survey that Horowitz Research relieved.

The report also asked what elements would these streamers like to have when it comes to managing their access to content. Two-thirds (66%) want universal search across competing services and would like to be able to manage their streaming subscriptions in one place. 65% stated that they would like to see streaming services merge to assist in that happening.

They also wanted to shop for products that are advertised through a link from their video device or their phone, and a method to use group viewing from other people connected to their subscription–mostly through family, friends, or those the subscribers know rather than perfect strangers a la those that play video games through a network.

It’s really interesting to note how streaming is part of the new phase of the “second coming of television” that’s been around  for the last forty plus years. And when this writer uses the term “forty plus years”, this is not to be consumed with a streaming service that uses the “plus” moniker after its title as there are more “plus” services out there than one can count. In fact, starting in January of ’23, EPIX, which is part of the subscription service operated by MGM, will be renamed as (get ready for this title), MGM+! (Original name, hah??)

This change is a far cry from when cable TV was once the be-all-to-end-all way to grab more content for Mr. & Ms. John and Jane Q. Public for watching programming on their television machines.

And rightly so. Thanks to the ease of getting video through a broadband connection, one doesn’t have to use the classic method of gaining access through content through a coax cable. Even though those “cutting the cord” (so to speak) were doing such for economic purposes, getting access to streaming is starting to become a bit costly over the past few years. It still makes sense to use streaming as its prime source for watching video since one can use a larger screening TV, but can also use any device that can connect to the ‘net. So one isn’t limited to watching TV at one’s homestead.

Of course, watching video through a TV device beats all of the other sources. This is from the picture quality as well as how the sound, well, sounds like! And since TV sets are getting smarter, one doesn’t have to rely upon using the streaming box one had to use for getting access to content. However, even if one uses a set that isn’t so smart, one can connect those boxes that can be of a stick variety or one that resemble a hockey puck. This is in reflection of using a classic CRT set that was once “cable ready”, a set that one didn’t have to connect a cable box to. However, unless one had a subscription to a pay TV channel such as HBO, Showtime, and others, one has to use the box as provided by the local CATV outlet.

It’s going to be rather difficult to predict if traditional cable TV will remain through this decade. However, over-the-air content will still be around for a while since some folks have over the air signals as their only source for TV due to their circumstances or their own choosing. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires that those over the air TV stations remain as over the air TV stations. Not many people may be using their signals, but then again, most stations in local communications have been around for generations. In Los Angeles, KTLA-TV is using their logo with the number “75”. This year marks their seventy fifth anniversary of going on the air. Never mind the fact that a few people had TV sets, but they were around just in case somebody plunked down $350 (1947 dollars mind you) to get a set to view that single channel. However, the next year (1948) had other channels going on the air, including the three television networks offering a selection of programming, mostly placed during the evening hours, where people would most likely be at their homes (or bars and taverns) to view whatever came their way.

However, even though there are more programs to view, finding the one that is of one’s interest is another factor to deal with. Back in 1948, it seems that “everybody” was turned to The Texaco Star Theater to watch Milton Berle mug the camera telling jokes going back to the days of vaudeville and burlesque (“Berle”-esquk??), and seeing “Uncle Milty” with his other stars in comical skits that were just as old! As long as the content was entertaining if not downright corny, nobody seemed to mind.

So as more channels are added in the “plus” level, keep those video devices handy to see more programming come your way. Some will be great, others will be “OK”, while the rest will be “ecch”! But one thing about streaming and its services. They will be in the same category as the weather. If you don’t like what you are seeing, wait for a moment and the options will change for the better or for the worse! Take your pick!!

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BASEMENT FOLLY, David Datz’s comic play about a mysterious person living in the basement of a married couple’s home and the others that desire that same living space, performs at Theater 40 of Beverly Hills as a world premier.

Matt Landing and Caroline Westheimer play married couple Adrian and Aubrey. They live within a home located in an urban cityscape. It seems that Aubrey is hosting a person living inside of their basement. This person isn’t a relative or friend. Adrian attempts to see who this person is and why this person is living there. Meanwhile, their adult age daughter Alex (Tammy Mora) is having some problems with where she is living and who she’s living with. She seeks that same basement space as temporary quarters. Meanwhile, Ray  (Michael Robb) , a friend of Adrian’s, pays a visit. He has his own problems as he’s in a down-and-out situation. To complete things further, Kim (Kat Kemmet) who was living with Alex, arrives at the home, adding more to Adrian and Aubrey’s household dilemmas. With all of these people settled within, the question remains. Who will be taking shelter where? And who is the person inside the basement? Is it really a homeless person, or is it somebody else for the better or for the worse?

This single act play written by David Datz is a comedy that is long on quick and witty dialog. It ramps itself up toward various complex situations dealing with a climatic peak that poses as a domestic state of affairs viewing itself on how life isn’t what it can be for the sake of comical results. The cast of five players show themselves akin to characters as seen in a postmodern sitcom one could find in today’s video landscape. However, this is a stage play rather than another video based segment, and its stage presence is what makes this production stand out. It’s funny in nature and holds a lot of intentions, even if those intentions take a while to get itself going. Carol Becker directs this show as a program that runs on a smooth and faster pace that doesn’t quit until its conclusion.

Jeff Rack, Theater 40’s resident set designer, once again provides his talent to show off the living space of this home in various shades of purple making it a “royal” place. With such places, it holds a basement that is referred to, but never seen or depicted.

BASEMENT FOLLY is a program that is very amusing and original in concept. This reviewer won’t spoil it for all by revealing just who is living in that basement. We will state that it isn’t a creature or some other being that lives in underground spaces with evil intentions in mind. After all, this play is a light comedy, not a heavy handed horror piece!

BASEMENT FOLLY, presented by Theatre 40 and performs at the Reuben Cordova Theatre, located within the campus of Beverly Hills High School, 241 South Moreno Drive (off little Santa Monica Blvd.) Beverly Hills, until October 26th. Showtimes are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at  7:00 PM.  

This program performs in repertory with A CLEAN SLATE that performs Thursday through Saturday nights and on Sunday afternoons . (See review-Vol. 27, No. 39)
       
For ticket reservations for both programs, call (310) 364-0535, or via online at
http://www.Theatre40.org

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is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2022 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

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