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Clodine Manyozo Lifestyle Writer
The advent of technology has brought about so many changes in television.

Gone are the days when satellite television was the best source for thrilling movies, comedies, operas, international sporting games, among other exciting and educative programmes.

In the past, it required one to either be at home, in the office or at a bar to watch a programme they were itching for because that was where the satellite dish would be connected.

But now people are spoilt for choice with several streaming options available for viewers.

You can opt to watch television programmes on your mobile phone, laptop or even online networks using WiFi or mobile data.

Satellite television delivers programming to viewers by relaying it from a communications satellite and a good example is Digital Satellite Television (DSTV).

On the other hand, online networks consist of platforms like Netflix, YouTube, TelOne’s Digital Entertainment on Demand (DEOD) and IGNETFLIX.

Online networks have led to people shifting from satellite television, as it seems to be more convenient and cheaper.

For online networks, one can pay for a particular show they intend to watch, while for satellite television it’s usually through monthly subscriptions.

This makes satellite television undesirable as one is forced to pay  for many shows, including those they will never watch within the period of their subscriptions.

People are always on the go, trying to make ends meet and they do not have time to sit down for a television show at home. This has led to people opting for online networks as it’s something that can be used on the go.

Online networks, for example Netflix, have good visual quality compared to satellite television.

In an interview with Saturday Herald Lifestyle, Mitchell Mutunya said a movie is best watched in good picture quality.

“If I sit down to watch a movie and I see that it has poor picture quality, I am easily turned off even if it is trending — poor visuals are the worst thing,” she said.

“This made me shift to online networks because they show movies with good quality.”

The other downside to satellite television is that you subscribe using foreign currency. People have therefore shifted to online networks because WiFi or data bundles can be bought using local currency.

Promotions have been offered for satellite television subscriptions as a way of luring subscribers. Some subscribers have stopped paying for the services due to prevailing harsh economic conditions in the country.

However, when one gets home from work, all they need is to relax and watch television, but this can be impossible because of power cuts. People end up going for online networks because they can switch over to solar or using a recharged laptop or tablet.

Even though there is a shift from satellite television to online networks, some people do not understand how they work and
eventually choose to stick to satellite television.

Satellite television has planned programming which is shown at a given time and it can repeat the same movies, but this does not happen on online networks, hence some people prefer online networks.

Lora Mabwe she said she prefers online networks because they have variety.

“I can watch about 50 different movies per month and this cannot happen on satellite television because they have programmed shows which they repeat all the time,” she said.

There can be a conflict on which movie to watch on satellite television, but with online networks, people can simply switch to individual gadgets and watch anything they want.

In fact, many gadgets can be connected to the same WiFi network, creating a platform that allows each family member to go for their favourite programme on their gadget.

Lora said she used to quarrel with her siblings on which movies to watch.

“We used to fight with my sisters because we would want to watch different movies at once when we had a satellite television and now it is better because we all can watch different movies at the same time on different devices,” she said.

Online networks have brought convergence which one cannot find on satellite television, and there is now a great shift to the new media.

The younger generation seems to be trapped by online networks which they have a better understanding of.

Linda Manyoni said she did not understand anything about online networks.

“I do not know anything about online networks or how they work,” she said.

“I have Netflix at my house, but I do not even know why my husband chose it, maybe it is because of our children. All l do is sit and watch a movie that they will be watching not knowing how they do it.”

Although people are shifting from satellite television to online networks, Chengetai Mutandiko told the Saturday Herald Lifestyle that he feels online networks are just the same with satellite television.

“I do not see any difference between satellite television and online networks because they require subscriptions and they are affected by power cuts, so I do not see any need to shift at all,” he said.