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Now the Family Can Watch Different Shows on the Same Television

Is this the end of family night as we know it, or a fresh beginning?

by
Walter Hudson

Bio

August 19, 2013 - 2:30 pm
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A new category of television now available for purchase enables two viewers watching from different angles to view different full-screen high-definition content. The Samsung 55-inch Curved OLED TV retails for about $9,000 and boasts “deep blacks and vibrant colors, while providing an immersive experience with improved viewing angles.”

Can you see yourself buying something like this? Let’s say the price comes down in a couple of years, which it surely will. Does the notion of watching something completely different from the person next to you carry appeal?

Scoffs come cheap. Putting the question to my Facebook friends produced a list of emphatic negatives. “Might as well not be near each other if not sharing the experience,” one wrote. “As if technology isn’t creating more isolation and poorer communication already! Arrgh!” exclaimed another.

Yet, there was a time when the notion of having multiple televisions in the same home seemed isolating and extreme. Remember this scene from Back to the Future when Marty McFly has dinner with his seventeen-year-old mother Lorraine and her family in 1955?

Lorraine Baines: It’s our first television set. Dad just picked it up today. Do you have a television?

Marty McFly: Well, yeah. You know we have… two of them.

Milton Baines: Wow! You must be rich.

Stella Baines: Oh, honey, he’s teasing you. Nobody has two television sets.

That was written in 1985. Today, we not only have a television in every room, but a bunch of smaller screens as well. Tablets, laptops, smartphones, e-readers — everything but Dick Tracy’s watch. As it stands, each person in a five-member family could theoretically watch their own hand-picked content at the same time. So is it really that big of a stretch to watch two shows from the same couch? Technically, it brings people formerly on separate devices closer together.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
ot one word of explanation was given on how 2 people sitting side by side watching 2 different shows are supposed to HEAR their programs. Does one have to wear headphones? Do both have to wear headphones? Who gets to pick?

Who chooses to get the 5.1 digital dolby surround-sound and who gets the crappy x-box headset?

Why not just implant recievers in everyone's head at birth so you can become a TV zombie by the age of one?

With their continued use of flicker-rate hypnosis laden commercials and mind numbing liberal crap programing that has been getting ever-worse, why would anyone in their right mind spend thousands of dollars on the latest techno-trash invention?

I think if you just stick your head in your microwave and set it to high you will see better stuff than what passes for "entertainment" on todays 5 minute hows with 25 minutes of forced, time-synced commercials on every channel of garbage!
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
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This article's thought struck me just the other day: we're watching our living room 52" TV and I really, really don't want to watch "Say Yes To The Dress," "What Not To Wear," "Fashion Police" or "You Should Be Living In This Multimillion Dollar House Not Your Current Hovel" on HDTV.

Alternate angles would be akin to the current picture-in-picture technology.

Audio would be an issue, but headphones could solve that. At NAB I auditioned technology in the DTS booth that delivered stunning surround sound using conventional stereo headsets. (It was aimed at gamers but will work great for TV.)

By the way, it's Saturday morning and I'm writing this on my iPad and the wife is on her laptop. The TV is off.

And last night, after the third episode of American Pickers became a rerun I'd seen, I simply lost interest and realized the was nothing to watch on my 150 channels.

Really want to shake things up? Unbundle cable and let me pay for only the channels I want. Why am I paying for MSNBC, CNN and 50 Spanish language channels?
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
If parents were intelligent, they would not let children watch television. It's nothing but nasty BS.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
I can see this technology developing into the preferred TV for the master bedroom. There's really no difference between a couple lying in bed watching separate TV programs and a couple lying in bed reading separate books, already a common ocurrence. For that sort of viewing, headphones would give adequate sound.

I don't see this ever becoming the norm for the "family room" TV because most people, at least most I know, have that one set up for "home theater" with surround sound. I can even draw the curtains and dim the lights from the TV remote. DVR and Pay per View have totally changed television and movie watching. The only thing that will get me to a theater is 3-D and when I replace the home theater TV it will be with a 3-D set. And when I do go to the theater even in good neighborhoods I feel like I should be carrying.

DVR completely divorces viewing from time. About the only thing we watch in real time any more is the news and some sports. We just program the DVR to catch the programs we like and watch them when we feel like it and I really don't know what day and time programs "normally" are broadcast; we just tell the DVR to catch all new episodes of BBC's "Copper" or whatever. It's a long way from the days when "Wagon Train" came on on Wednesday night and "Walt Disney" and "The Ed Sullivan Show" were on Sunday night - if you could get the channel they were on. I had to go to a friend's house to see The Beatles on Ed Sullivan because he had a rotor that could turn the antenna towards the town that had the CBS station; it wasn't until the late '60s that my dad was willing to spring for a rotor and one of those fance "fringe" antennas. If my neighborhood is any indication, there is a resurgence in antennae on houses as people use an antenna for local broadcast TV and then use satellite TV rather than cable. The only thing keeping me on cable is it is bundled with high-speed internet.

There may be some families that only have one TV and for whom watching a TV show is the sort of family event it was in the 50s and '60s, but I think that pretty much ended in the '70s and '80s as cable became common and bedroom sized TVs became common and affordable so TVs went in the kids' rooms.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
ot one word of explanation was given on how 2 people sitting side by side watching 2 different shows are supposed to HEAR their programs. Does one have to wear headphones? Do both have to wear headphones? Who gets to pick?

Who chooses to get the 5.1 digital dolby surround-sound and who gets the crappy x-box headset?

Why not just implant recievers in everyone's head at birth so you can become a TV zombie by the age of one?

With their continued use of flicker-rate hypnosis laden commercials and mind numbing liberal crap programing that has been getting ever-worse, why would anyone in their right mind spend thousands of dollars on the latest techno-trash invention?

I think if you just stick your head in your microwave and set it to high you will see better stuff than what passes for "entertainment" on todays 5 minute hows with 25 minutes of forced, time-synced commercials on every channel of garbage!
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
How is this any more isolating than Ma and Pa sitting by the fire reading different books?

And watching something with another person is bonding. There's a shared experiece, seeing how each of you react to the same stimulus. That's why so many dates involve seeing a movie or show together.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Yet, there was a time when the notion of having multiple televisions in the same home seemed isolating and extreme."

It IS isolating. Social acceptance of that doesn't change the fact of it.

I predict these will sell very well, and once the price comes down, will become the new norm.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
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