Zero TV households are on the rise in U.S.

A new trend has started to gain popularity not only in the U.S., but in Huntsville as well. According to the Nielsen Co. there are five million Zero TV households in the U.S. as of April 2013. That number has gone up from two million in 2007.

A Zero TV household is that doesn’t have any television sets and relies on other means, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, to get their entertainment.

Many students at Sam Houston State University are also moving to the Zero TV household idea for different reasons.

Junior student Amanda Banasiak said that although she has a TV, she can understand why students wouldn’t want one from an educational perspective.

“It’s very distracting by just having it in your room alone,” she said. “If it’s on, it’s even worse because you’re tempted to watch it instead. It also keeps you up all night.”

According to a 2012 study performed by California State University’s Psychology Professor, Larry Rosen, Ph.D., the longest he could get his students to focus with a TV on was about 30 minutes.

Another student said that it works out because there are no ads to worry about.

“Why pay for a TV and cable when you can just have internet and Hulu Plus instead?” junior student Joey Balderas said. “It’s more convenient because there are no ads to get annoyed over.”

Nielsen Co. recently revealed in their report that three-quarters of homes in the U.S. have at least one TV set, but two-thirds get their content on other devices.

“The most common way the households view content through an alternative device is via the computer (37 percent), followed by on TV internet (16 percent), via smartphones (8 percent), and via tablets (6 percent). Almost half of these homes watch TV content through subscription services,” Nielson Co. reported.

Despite Nielsen Co.’s report, the biggest reason why students have made the transition is because of cost effectiveness.

“It’s a lot cheaper to just have internet and a content provider than to pay for the whole package,” junior student Steffany Smith said. “I watch shows on my computer and tablet than I do on my TV anyway.”

According to the Leictman Research Group, the average cable casts have jumped 7.2 percent in the past year. Because of this, many consumers are turning to video streaming from cheaper content providers such as Netflix to save money.

The research group also went on to note that Netflix U.S. subscribers have watched 80 percent more streaming video hours than were viewed in the same period on all United States pay Video On-Demand offerings combined. Financial Services Company Standard & Poor’s sees cable subscriptions taking a hit as more customers try to trim costs.

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