Cyber View; July 1996; Scientific American Magazine; by Browning; 1 Page(s)
Something intriguing is happening in American homes. Computers seem to be luring people away from the television set. It¿s still too early to tell if this is the long-heralded end of a 50-year obsession with the "idiot box." But it does seem to be the beginning of an affair with CD-ROMs and the World Wide Web, and as it heats up, the door is thrown open for another generation of stars. Just as the salad days of TV were defined by Edward R. Murrow, Lucille Ball and Ed Sullivan, so the Web, too, is ready for characters to bring this emerging world to life.
Every six months, a San Francisco-based market-research firm called Odyssey interviews 5,000 American consumers about their tastes in TV, computers and other electronic media. The most recent interviews, completed this past April, found that home usage of new media was exploding, and as this novel way of spending time became more popular, it appeared to be eroding Americans¿ loyalty to TV. In general, the more access consumers had to CD-ROMs and the Web, the more disenchanted they were with TV.