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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 基础版》第3章 信息技术类 Unit 37

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2019年01月11日

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Ten years ago this week a black box was demonstrated at a broadcasters’ convention in Las Vegas.TiVo's digital video recorder(DVR)was expensive: the cheapest model cost $499.But it was hailed as revolutionary.It was much more flexible and easier to programme than a videocassette recorder.It allowed people to record and play back at the same time,so they could start watching a programme 20 minutes after it had started and fast-forward through all the advertisements.Experts forecast a severe,perhaps fatal,blow to advertising-supported television.Yet DVRs turn out to have done little damage.Indeed,DVRs may even have protected television and made it more conservative. 
As prices fell and cable and satellite firms began to bundle DVRs with other services,their popularity soared.According to Nielsen,a media-research outfit,29% of American homes now have one.The boxes are in a higher proportion of the households advertisers most care about.Jack Wakshlag of Turner Broadcasting,a cable company,calculates that DVR-owning households earn about $20,000 more than average.Yet those households do not use them nearly as much as one might expect.Families with DVRs seem to spend 15-20% of their viewing time watching pre-recorded shows,and skip only about half of all advertisements.This means only about 5% of television is time-shifted and less than 3% of all advertisements are skipped.Mitigating that loss,people with DVRs watch more television. 
Just because technology enables people to do something does not mean they will,particularly when it comes to a medium as indolence-inducing as television.And people have become lazier.Early adopters of DVRs used them a lot—not surprisingly,since they paid so much for them.Later adopters use them much less(about two-thirds less,according to a recent study).David Poltrack,head of research and planning at CBS,another broadcast network,reckons the networks have already felt most of the DVR's effects. 
Advertisers and television networks have pushed back even against this puny threat.They have developed relatively static advertisements that get a message across even at high speed.They put snippets of programming in the middle of ad breaks.One trick,described by Todd Juenger of TiVo as“closer to a silver bullet”,is to run advertisements that resemble programmes—in some cases featuring stars from the show people are trying to watch. 
Far from being revolutionary,in some ways DVR has made television more stable.With the exception of live events it is broadly true that the most popular programmes are recorded the most.Mr Wakshlag describes it as“a hit-saving machine”.Broadcast television receives a bigger boost from DVR playback than cable television.The device has made it harder to introduce a new television programme,particularly at 10pm when people are likely to be playing back shows they recorded at 8pm or 9pm. 
One reason television executives have calmed down about DVRs is that they have something else to worry about.Hulu and other video-streaming websites,which are becoming more popular,give a great deal of control to consumers and are thought to pose a threat to advertising-supported television.Does that sound familiar? 
注(1):本文选自Economist; 
注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象:第1、4、5题分别模仿2002年真题Text 4第1题和Text 3第4、5题,第2题模仿2001年真题Text 2第2题,第3题模仿2004年真题Text 1第3题。 
1.From the second paragraph we learn that ______. 
A) the development of DVR is just like what was predicted 
B) the households owning DVRs are relatively rich 
C) DVR is frequently used by the households that advertisers most care about 
D) owners of DVR use it to skip most of all advertisements 
2.David Poltrack's comment in paragraph three probably means that ______. 
A) DVR's influence on television is relatively small 
B) people do not always make use of advantages brought by technology 
C) technology sometimes make people become lazier 
D) the networks survive thanks to the indolence of later DVR adopters 
3.The phrase“silver bullet”(Line 4,Paragraph 4)most probably means ______. 
A) a bullet made of silver 
B) a method with much financial input 
C) an economical approach 
D) an extremely effective solution 
4.In the last sentence of the article,the author implies that ______. 
A) the result of fear about video-steaming website may turn out to be similar as that of DVR 
B) video-streaming websites are posing a serious threat to television as DVR did 
C) video-steaming websites give consumers much controlling power just as DVR did 
D) television executive worry about video-steaming websites as they did about DVR 
5.The author's viewpoint towards the prospect of television industry seems to be ______. 
A) critical 
B) positive 
C) biased 
D) objective 

十年前的这一周,在拉斯维加斯举办的广播会展上展示了一个黑盒子。这就是TiVo数字录像机(简称DVR),它价格昂贵,最便宜的型号都标价499美元。但它却被誉为一项革命性的发明。DVR比卡带录像机更加灵活,更易于编制视频。人们用DVR就可以一边录像一边回放,所以人们可以在节目开始20分钟后观看,并且快进跳过所有广告。专家预言DVR将严重甚至致命打击靠广告支持的电视产业。但结果DVR并没有造成什么损害。事实上,DVR甚至可能保护了电视产业并使之更加保守。 
随着价格下降以及有线电视和卫星广播公司开始把DVR和其他服务捆绑销售,DVR的普及程度直线上升。媒体研究机构Nielsen的数据显示,现在29%的美国家庭拥有DVR。在广告商最关注的那些美国家庭中,DVR的比例更高。来自有线电视公司Turner广播公司的杰克·瓦克施莱格估计,拥有DVR的家庭的收入大约超出平均水平两万美元。然而那些家庭并没有像人们想象的那样频繁使用DVR。拥有DVR的家庭观看事先录好的节目的时间,大概占观看电视时间的15~20%,而且跳过了约3%的广告。DVR的用户看了更多的电视,从而减轻了广告损失。 
科技使得人们有能力做某些事情,但这并不意味着他们就会去做那些事情,尤其是涉及电视这种让人变得懒惰的媒介时。而现在的人们确实越来越懒了。早期的用户经常使用DVR——这并不奇怪,因为这是他们花高价购买的。后来的用户就用得少多了(根据最近的研究,使用频率约降低了2/3)。另一家广播公司CBS的研究及策划组组长戴维·波特克认为,DVR对其电视网络的冲击也就到这种程度。 
即使面对如此微小的威胁,广告商和电视广播公司也采取了应对措施。他们开发出了相对静态的广告,使得即使在快进中也能看到信息。他们把节目片段插在广告时段的中间。其中一个技巧,据TiVo的托德·荣格尔说“简直就是制胜之道”,就是使广告与节目相似——在某些情况下,出演广告的明星正是来自观众想收看的节目。 
DVR不但没有掀起革命,从某些方面来说反而使电视产业更加稳固。除了现场直播,大体上来说最流行的节目被录制的频率最高。瓦克施莱格先生将DVR描述为“热门节目储藏机”。相比有线电视,DVR的回放功能对广播电视的推动作用最大。DVR使得推广新的电视节目变得更加困难,尤其是晚间10点档,这个时候人们可能正在回放晚上8点或9点录好的节目。 
电视主管现在不那么紧张DVR的原因之一是他们有其他事情需要担心。Hulu和其他的流媒体网站变得越来越流行,给予了消费者极大的主导权,被认为威胁到了靠广告支持的电视产业。是不是听起来有点耳熟呢? 
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