We’re in the midst of a connected TV revolution. Connected TV is a way to stream content from smart TVs to mobile devices, tablets, and computers. There are a wide variety of connected TV platforms and devices for consumers to choose from, and as CTV grows, so do the options. But where did it all begin, and how did it grow to be today’s powerful force? Let’s find out.
CTV began with TiVo. The invention of digital recording made it possible for people to watch TV shows when they wanted. In many ways, TiVo was the first to go digital, even though it was just a short step away from recording a show on a VHS tape. Modern streaming services were built on their foundation.
CTV technology made two significant leaps in 2005. iTunes enabled users to download shows for watching on their devices, and YouTube made it possible for people to create their own content. By providing a searchable platform for watching videos online, YouTube revolutionized the way people watch video online. Users became empowered to create content based on their likes and dislikes to make a system of preferences and dislikes famous.
In 2007, Netflix introduced its streaming service, becoming one of the most significant moments in CTV history. As Netflix’s streaming platform grew in popularity, it became a global phenomenon. Netflix reported over 21 million subscribers just four years after launching its streaming service.
Streaming networks like Netflix showed that they could create content as well as share it with an unprecedented amount of popularity and growth. After producing original content in 15 languages and winning 51 Emmy nominations, they began doing so in 2013 with House of Cards, their first original content series.
As Netflix became more popular, other streaming services entered the market. Netflix, HBO Max, CBS All Access, Disney+, Crackle, and Acorn are some services offering this content.
Over 76% of U.S. households subscribe to a streaming service, and 55 percent subscribe to two or more of the big three streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime). With numbers surpassing traditional TV and cable, CTV is the new way people consume media.
Netflix’s Stranger Things received 26.4 million viewers in its first four days in 2019, compared to 17.4 million viewers for the final season of Game of Thrones on HBO. According to Netflix, The Queen’s Gambit had 62 million households watching it in 2020, breaking all previous records. Only the Super Bowl would have a higher viewership than these shows if they were broadcast on TV.
In recent weeks, Stranger Things 4 has seen such strong viewership that it’s almost surreal. It only took seventeen days for Eleven & Friends’ fourth season to become the most-watched show in its first 28 days, breaking the record set by Bridgerton Season 2. Netflix’s internal tally shows that Stranger Things Season 4 has been viewed 781.04 million times in two and a half weeks.
With a whopping 1.65 billion hours viewed within its first four weeks, Stranger Things Season 4 shattering the previously-held English-language TV record did not take a full four weeks, nor did it need its final two supersized episodes.
In the future of connected TV, we cannot predict what will happen exactly, but we are beginning to see some trends. With CTV’s rapid growth, here are some things to watch out for.
You can’t watch a video without being interrupted by traditional video ads. Of course, with a premium subscription, you may be able to remove these ads, but chances are, these boring 30-second commercials will slowly disappear.
With connected TV advertising, the user can interact directly with the ad experience rather than sit through it. Furthermore, with the proliferation of smartphones, laptops, computers, and devices, CTV advertisements are about to become more interactive and entertaining.
Using or protecting personal user data is changing how companies interact with their users dramatically. For example, a user profile can be created by tracking what you watch, when you watch, and how often you watch CTV.
Several of these platforms already use this information. For example, you can find recommendations for movies and shows similar to those you have watched. As a result, you may even receive advertisements influenced by your privacy policies.
The data collected from customers can also be used to create new media to meet the preferences of a large audience. For example, it is much more likely that movies and shows about gardening will be produced if everyone starts loving them.
The massive growth of CTV also means that advertisers have an excellent opportunity to reach their target market.
- Audiences that are highly engaged
- Targeted extremely well
- Saves money
- Options for flexibility
- Integration of omnichannel marketing
CTV has already conquered the entertainment sector and is only growing from strength to strength. As options become more targeted and effective, marketers should jump on board to reap the full benefits!
Has Technology Changed How We Play Classic Games?
With technology changing many aspects of our lives, it’s reached into many areas that you might not have considered before now. In terms of the timeless games that people have played in the same way for centuries, what are some of the biggest and most dramatic changes we’ve seen?
Live streaming has introduced a new type of entertainment that lets us enjoy the most popular games online. It’s possible to livestream everything from the biggest Scrabble competitions to the latest chess tournaments, capturing the excitement of the games and letting us see how the best players adapt their strategies in the most stressful moments. We can even find streams featuring people playing iconic board games including Catan and Monopoly.
The live streaming method has reached the world of casino games, with live dealer versions of games like blackjack and roulette joined by others with a game show-type presentation. The latest casino bonuses UK allow players to collect rewards for a variety of live games.
Newcomers can try this way of playing varied titles including Boom City, Mega Roulette, and Sweet Bonanza CandyLand, where a human presenter leads the game.
Chess on the Blockchain
With a history going back centuries, chess is one of the world’s most loved board games and it’s moved with the times too. The traditional way of playing with two players face-to-face over a board is still popular, but technology means that many of the estimated 600 million chess players spread over the planet now take part in games online.
This can mean hooking up with other human players or testing your skills against an AI bot.
One of the most revolutionary changes in the chess world has arrived with the emergence of blockchain technology, which allows players to monetize all their victories. The Chess Polygon platform is a cryptocurrency-based project that lets players mine tokens and earn NFTs by taking part in chess challenges against others in the community.
Playing Scrabble in the Metaverse
Will playing games in the metaverse provide the way forward for the games that we’re used to playing in a low-tech setting? This research by CNET looks at various ways of playing in the metaverse that include games based on Scrabble and Pictionary, with players having the freedom to set up the playing area in a way that suits them.
The overall idea with the metaverse is the creation of a virtual universe that blends perfectly with our real-world habits. This is why major brands such as Coca-Cola, Samsung, and Dominos have all entered the metaverse with physical products for sale, leading to the possibility that we can play our favorite games in a way that fits ideally into our existing lifestyles.
The games we’ve looked at have all changed greatly thanks to the latest technology, although it’s interesting to note that in many cases the underlying mechanics and rules have changed very little. By focusing on the presentation, these games have retained their timeless appeal while new ways of enjoying them have opened up.
A Deck of Wonders: Unveiling the Rich History of Playing Cards
Playing cards have long been an integral part of human culture, transcending geographical boundaries and spanning centuries. Originating in ancient civilizations, the history of playing cards is a captivating journey that unveils the evolution of this timeless form of entertainment.
Playing in casinos or in the comfort of your own home has been a staple for generations, whether its poker, blackjack or something played in the computer or phone like baccarat online, this article delves into the intriguing tale of playing cards, exploring the development of the suits and faces that have become synonymous with this universally enjoyed pastime.
The exact origins of playing cards remain shrouded in mystery, with multiple theories proposing different points of inception. One widely accepted belief suggests that playing cards originated in China during the Tang Dynasty around the 9th century. These early cards were likely used for various games and had a distinct visual language.
The Spread of Playing Cards
From China, playing cards found their way along trade routes and made their way into Persia, India, and eventually reached Europe during the late 14th century. The intricate designs and artistic elements of these cards underwent transformation with each cultural influence, adapting to the preferences of different societies.
The Four Suits
One of the most distinctive features of playing cards is the division into suits. The standard deck we know today typically consists of hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades. These suits have a fascinating history rooted in medieval Europe, where they were inspired by the socio-economic classes prevalent at the time.
- Hearts: Originally represented the clergy or the church.
- Diamonds: Symbolized the merchant class or the wealthy bourgeoisie.
- Clubs: Depicted the peasantry or the working class.
- Spades: Signified the military or the nobility.
The evolution of these suits reflects the social structures and power dynamics of medieval Europe. Over time, the symbolism associated with the suits may have changed, but the four-fold division has remained a constant.
The Evolution of Faces
Early playing cards featured simple designs, often just numbers or basic symbols. However, the introduction of face cards added a new layer of complexity and intrigue to the decks. The face cards typically include the king, queen, and jack, each adorned with unique characteristics and symbols.
Initially, the faces on these cards were generic, but as playing cards spread across Europe, they began to take on the personalities of historical or mythical figures. For example, the king of hearts might be inspired by Charlemagne, the king of diamonds by Julius Caesar, and so on.
This transformation added a storytelling element to the cards, making them more engaging for players.
The Standardization of Decks
As playing cards became more popular, various regions and cultures developed their own versions with distinct designs. However, with the advent of printing technology in the 15th century, the mass production of playing cards became possible, leading to the standardization of decks that we recognize today.
This standardization facilitated the widespread popularity of card games and established a common visual language for players around the world. And at the same time made the risk of tampering less apparent for cheaters.
The history of playing cards is a fascinating tapestry woven across centuries and continents. From their mysterious origins in ancient China to the intricate symbolism of the suits and faces in medieval Europe, playing cards have evolved into a global phenomenon.
As we shuffle and deal our decks today, it’s worth appreciating the rich history and cultural significance encapsulated within each card – a testament to the enduring allure of this timeless pastime.
How Ergonomic Gaming Chairs Enhance Your Performance
In gaming, every edge counts when it comes to enhancing your performance. Gamers often spend hours on end honing their skills, but one critical aspect that can sometimes be overlooked is the chair they sit in.
Ergonomic gaming chairs have gained popularity for good reason; they come with a host of benefits that can significantly improve a gamer’s overall performance. So, explore how an ergonomic chair for gaming can enhance your experience and elevate your performance to the next level.
Sitting in an uncomfortable chair for extended periods can lead to poor posture, causing discomfort and potentially impairing your performance in activities. Ergonomic gaming chairs, specifically designed with proper posture in mind, are the solution to this problem. They feature built-in lumbar support, adjustable armrests, headrests, and customisable seat height, allowing you to maintain a healthy and proper sitting position.
These chairs are engineered to align your spine correctly, thus preventing the aches and pains commonly associated with bad posture. With their enhanced comfort and support, these chairs enable you to focus more intensely on your game or work without distraction.
Moreover, the ergonomic design of these chairs not only supports long gaming sessions but also promotes overall well-being by reducing the risk of long-term musculoskeletal issues. This makes them a valuable investment for anyone spending significant time at a desk or in front of a computer.
These ergonomic chairs are meticulously engineered for maximum comfort. Featuring high-density foam padding and soft, breathable materials, they provide an exceptional seating experience that enhances endurance during extended sessions. The increased comfort from these chairs translates into longer periods of engagement without fatigue or discomfort.
When you’re not constantly shifting in your seat to find a comfortable position, you can devote more time and concentration to your gaming or work tasks, significantly improving your overall performance.
Additionally, the ergonomic design helps in maintaining proper blood circulation and reduces the risk of strain injuries, further amplifying your focus and efficiency. The adaptability of these chairs, with their adjustable backrests, tilt mechanisms, and height settings, ensures that they cater to a wide range of body types, making them a versatile choice for gamers and professionals alike.
Enhanced Concentration and Focus
In competitive gaming, where every millisecond can be the difference between victory and defeat, ergonomic gaming chairs play a crucial role. They are meticulously designed to keep you engaged in your game by minimising distractions and discomfort. Many of these chairs have advanced features like adjustable armrests, tilt mechanisms, and swivel functions.
These customisable options enable you to tailor the chair to your specific body type and gaming preferences, ensuring that you can maintain peak concentration and focus throughout your sessions.
Additionally, some models include integrated support for the neck and lower back, reducing the risk of strain during long gaming marathons. The chairs’ robust construction and durable materials guarantee longevity and consistent performance, making them a reliable companion for serious gamers.
Sitting for extended periods improperly can lead to various health issues, including back pain, neck strain, and potentially carpal tunnel syndrome. These health risks are heightened for those who spend long hours in front of a computer.
Ergonomic gaming chairs, designed with comfort and posture in mind, are built to mitigate these risks. The lumbar support and headrest provide essential support to your spine and neck, crucial for reducing the strain on these sensitive areas.
Additionally, adjustable armrests can help prevent wrist strain by enabling you to maintain a natural, relaxed hand position while gaming or working. The chair’s adjustable height and tilt functions also contribute to maintaining an optimal sitting position. By investing in an ergonomic gaming chair, you’re not only enhancing your gaming performance but also safeguarding your long-term health and well-being.
One of the most significant advantages of these sitting options is their customisability. Gamers come in all shapes and sizes, and what works for one person may not work for another. These chairs generally offer a wide range of adjustments, from seat height to armrest position and even recline angle.
This level of customisation ensures that it adapts to your body and preferences, allowing you to create the perfect environment. When you’re comfortable and supported, your performance can thrive.
In gaming, where precision, concentration, and endurance are paramount, every detail counts. These chairs have become an essential tool for gamers looking to enhance their performance. With their focus on comfort, posture, concentration, and health, an ergonomic chair provides a multifaceted approach to improving your experience.
Investing in an ergonomic gaming chair isn’t just about upgrading your equipment; it’s about optimising your potential. By maintaining proper posture, increasing comfort, enhancing concentration, reducing health risks, and offering customisation options, these chairs can elevate your gaming performance to new heights.
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