Last night’s Oscar ceremony with all its glitz and glamour may well be the last of the Hollywood award nights we see on our TV. Indeed, many people won’t have watched the Academy’s show on TV at all; significant numbers would have watched without having access to a TV. They would have watched using the Internet.

More frequently than ever before, people are watching TV online. Indeed, one recent study showed that 45% of Europeans watch some TV via the Internet. The UK is busy bracing itself for “digital TV” ready to be introduced nationwide within four years – but by then most people will be accessing TV via the Internet. So what a waste of Government effort that is…!

One survey found that we now spend more time online than we do watching TV. In fact it seems that we spend twice as much time in our homes connected to the Internet than we do connected to any TV show. Now researchers working for the European Broadcasting Union are set to take things a little further.

The annual Eurovision Song Contest takes place on 24th May and they are planning a whole new online experience (as if the contest itself is not enough of an “experience”…!). What the test will allow is for viewers to interact with TV in whole new ways. At the moment we’re limited to text messages, phone-ins and mobile video; but the new system being planned could mean TV becomes completely interactive. And that means the box in the corner of your lounge is almost obsolete. It also means the days of families sitting down together to watch their favourite programmes are all but gone. And that will have a dramatic shift on society itself.

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