From Television to Any Vision: The Ancient Art of Streaming

In the first BCM241 tutorial of the semester, discussion revolved around television and memories. Common conversation was concerned with personal memories and experiences involving the viewing of television programs. A particular conversation I found myself immersed in was one that surrounded the lack of real time viewing of television programs in contemporary times, with streaming services allowing us to view programs at our own convenience, as opposed to sitting idly in-front of the TV awaiting the new episode of the most popular new show.

With the prolific popularity of streaming services such as Netflix, Stan and Hayu, the television experience has become much less communal in conjunction with becoming increasingly accessible, shifting the social sphere of viewing and flipping it on its head. Such services allow individuals to watch and rewatch television and movies at their own leisure, giving those who cannot view their favourite television program at a conventional time, the chance to enjoy TV, just as much as those who can.

fetch-Streaming-apps-1Despite my initial concurrence with the idea that program streaming is a new concept that has allowed for improved access to television, the more I pondered, the more I realised, watching television at a time after the program has aired and being able to watch a particular program, movie or episode over again, is not such a new advancement. This realisation brings me to share my earliest television memory.

In the year 2000, At the age of 3, I was a self-declared Brittany Spears fanatic. So, when the pop stars ‘You Drive me Crazy World Tour’ aired on television, and I was too young to stay up past my bedtime and watch it, naturally, I was devastated. My mother, being the woman, she is, recorded the entire concert on a VHS tape, and, from that point on, the concert was immortalised. I would watch Britney perform over and over, begging mum to rewind the tape so I could perfect the exact dance moves and outfit choices made by the pop star, I so desperately wanted to be.

This process of watching and rewatching reminded me a lot of how I watch television now. The same principles apply to watching Netflix, online, as they do to busting out an ancient VHS tape and recording, playing and rewinding. Both streaming processes allow the viewer to access media at any time, personalising and allowing for the individualisation of the television experience.


Though, while I assert that these two concepts of streaming, both past and present, are quite similar in nature, I do agree that streaming, at the present time, reduces the need for pre-planning: you decide what you want to watch, and as long as you’re connected, you can do it right that second, even if the show you want to see aired last week. This flexibility increases convenience, allows for the infiltration of previously off-limits contexts, and removes the felt necessity to watch a certain program at a certain time in a certain place.Although the VHS tape allowed for the process of watching and rewatching at convenient times, it didn’t allow for the reduction of pre planning in order to record the desired program.

So, it is, that I argue, television streaming has always been around, not always in the form of specialised streaming services, like that of Netflix, but in more basic forms as purchasing a blank VHS tape, pressing record and reusing the tape to record over when you got sick of watching the Britney Spears concert. (That never happened).

Either way, streaming, via VHS or through new and improved technologies, has increased the scope of television, completely changing the dynamic. Gone are the days of predetermined viewing times and here are the days where it is perfectly acceptable to watch your favourite television series at 2am, chatting about it with friends, while trying to avoid sharing spoilers because you’ve watched more episodes than them.


Jones, E 2009, ‘Network Television Streaming Technologies and the Shifting Television Social Sphere’ Media in Transition 6: Stone and Papyrus, Storage and Transmission. Vol. 6 pp. 3-9


The Lonely Girl who really wasn’t

The development of Internet communication, specifically, social media has expanded the traditional notion of identity. Now, it is possible to craft online identities in addition to those in real life. These online personas can shape people’s interpersonal perceptions towards individuals in the real world.

Original Meme

In 2006, ‘Lonelygirl15’ established a YouTube channel, on which, she posted regular vlogs. Bree, who featured in the videos, was a teenage girl who lived a seemingly normal life. It soon became evident that she was perhaps, lonely and bored, hence the creation of Lonleygirl15. The youtube channel and vlogs gained a massive international following and became extremely popular, in a seemingly short amount of time. Bree had become one of YouTube’s youngest and most popular stars. She reinforced this popularity, starting her own forum and myspace account.

However, after gaining a mass following, it was revealed that Bree and Lonelygirl15 were, in fact, fictional and the channel and videos were produced by a number of writers and actors. Fans, YouTubers and the media alike, had been duped by an artificial online persona, who, projected online, the parts of her life that the writers wanted viewers to see.

Is this so different to what we do each day when posting on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat? We post, often times, edited images of the most exciting parts of our lives, leaving out the mundane occurrences, in order to create the perception we want surrounding our name, image and brand.


To PC or not to PC: Locked vs Generative Platforms

I am, by no means, a gamer of any sort, but, looking into locked vs generative technological platforms, led me to the debate surrounding PC gaming, as compared to, console gaming.

There is fervent discussion about, both, open and closed technologies. Specifically, how closed technologies enforce ideologies that limit the generativity of audiences, by controlling the flow of content across channels. Simply put, this relates to the types of access provided by both open and closed source technology.

The intended result for locked appliance technology is that of pure consumption. This is evident, when considering console gaming. Sony’s Play Station and Microsoft’s Xbox are perfect examples of the iteration of products that lead to increased consumption, with the release of new models every few years. This ultimately creates technological obsolescence for old consoles, when a new model materialises. In contrast to console gaming, PCs give you the freedom to upgrade whenever YOU decide to, not when Sony or Microsoft decide to, rendering the PC, a generative technological platform.

PlayStation and Xbox both market games as ‘console exclusive’, yet, Steam provides these games, inclusive of; Dead Rising, Transitor, and Hotline Miami 2, online, for everyone, at a fraction of the price. Essentially, Steam is providing the same products as big brand names, like PlayStation and Xbox, in an open source environment, that is ultimately, cheaper and easier to access.

Original Meme 

SoundScan to SoundCloud: Good artists copy; great artists steal

The production of Hip-hop has long been tied to the availability and progression of technology. Transpiring in the Bronx of New York City in the 1970’s, harnessing turntables and microphones, Hip-hop has continued to utilise technological advancements. Technology has allowed for the emergence of Hip-hop as a widely accessible commodity, allowing for user interaction and production of an insurmountable extent.

Remix culture is the encouragement of the combination or editing of existing materials to produce a new product. It is the process whereby content production has become democratised. In terms of Hiphop, the emergence of remix culture has allowed for the rise of break beat culture, EDM and Mashups. The creation of such genres brings about the idea of ‘Technology of self’. Despite being a collaborative process for the most part, Hip-hop production allows the individual to produce content without the interference of record companies or other stakeholders. This individualisation of production elicits a particular aesthetic within Hip-hop that has become extremely popularised.

Original Podcast

In 1991, Mike Fine and Mike Shalett introduced SoundScan. This system implemented a method of tracking record sales. Through this process, we were able to recognise that Hip-hop was on top of the sales charts. Now days, Youtube and Soundcloud allow for the recording of views on tracks uploaded by amateur Hip-hop artists who participate in the process of remixing music to create a completely new sound.