Jump is a B2B communications agency who provides bespoke PR, marketing and creative services to broadcast and media technology companies globally, from content acquisition to delivery to the home.


Is the TV debate already going full circle?

Happily for you all, I’m going to start with a massive industry cliché: I don’t actually watch that much television, be that linear, OTT, VOD or delivered by carrier pigeon. I certainly haven’t sat and watched any broadcast linear peak time TV for a long, long time. How many times have you heard people say that? But I will confess that I do watch a lot of video.

Yes, I am in danger of becoming a YouTube addict. No, not for years-old TV re-runs or illicit captures of recent output, but for niche(ish) interest content: car channels, music production/general music content and, yes, alright, I did once watch a couple of Formula 1 game videos. I’m 47 years old. I know, I know.

And now for a second cliché: I only really watch sport (Formula 1, natch) and films on my living room TV. Over the past couple of years, when I do watch TV content, it’s via catch-up, live streaming or other OTT services on my iPad. In many ways, my iPad has become the centre of my viewing world.

But earlier this year, after a particularly intense few days of work, I slumped on my couch and turned on the telly. The thing that grabbed my attention was the first part of a two-part BBC documentary call Conviction: Murder in Suburbia. Within a few minutes, it had me hooked, well and truly. Why? The sheer quality of the experience. The way it was shot and edited; the use of music; the sheer narrative thrust of it. What could have been very dry subject matter had been turned into something powerful and moving. It looked and sounded fantastic. And it needed a decent screen and sound to fully get that across.

Immediately after that, I watched the first episode of Gone Fishing, a gentle show with Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse meandering (pun intended) around the countryside, talking about their health scares and life in general. Again, I was taken aback by the sheer quality of the experience and yes, again, it moved me.

To my mind, it’s analogous to the proliferation of MP3s for music. A couple of years back a hi-fi-obsessed friend gave me a quite high-end CD player he couldn’t be bothered to sell. It sat unused in my place for some time and then, one day, I wired it up and…oh blimey! Suddenly I realised how I had gradually come to accept MP3 quality – even at maximum bit rate – streamed to my system as just fine. And for most of the time it is.

But there are times that it simply isn’t; magic is lost. And both these shows I watched on free-to-air, linear TV in their scheduled time slots. There’s life in the old dog yet.

Joss Armitage,  Managing Partner, Jump