I hate the phrase: “I’ll know it when I see it.” It’s just not practical. There’s a reason why there are dictionaries, why we have categories, why we use headings, labels, names, subjects, topics, references—this that and the third—so that we can call it when we see it.
If I don’t watch TV on the actual TV anymore (which I don’t) does that mean that it is not TV? Historically, the apparatus—the TV set—has defined television. Now, in the “post-network” era, televised programming can exist outside the box. In fact, many people prefer it that way. So if you watch a show on your computer, iPod, cell phone, is it not TV then? I guess we will have to call it how we see it. TV on hulu or iTunes does in fact feel like TV. Television has just gotten a Windows upgrade.
TV has entered the realm of cyber space. This is a space where we don’t have to sit and wait for our favorite shows to come on or use TV guide to navigate our evening. Television is now at our fingertips. Empowering isn’t it? And yes, I still call it TV when I watch Glee on hulu because the terminology has crossed over. It is impractical to call nouveau-TV by the apparatus. If that were the case, is it The Hulu then? Is it youtubing? Or should be call it iTunes-vision? I guess it’s just TV then until we find a more fitting term that looks and feels like the post-network era.