The PhoneBoy Blog


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TV Online: So Simple, A Four Year Old Can Do It

I was watching my 4 year old watch Pokemon on the computer the other day, when I had a rather startiling realization: she can figure out how to get the computer to show what she wants, yet can’t operate the televison.

Our televisions at home are relatively simple 19 inch ones from 1991 that cost about $300. They still work good, but the buttons are falling off and we’ve long since lost or replaced the original remotes with universal ones. They are not particularly hard to operate, but that assumes you can read, which my daughter can’t do yet.

Every time I go to someone’s house and attempt to use their TV, I feel like I need to take lessons in how to watch TV. Even with a Universal remote, it still a rather confusing series of steps just to get a picture on the screen. Heaven help you if you want to watch a DVD.

In addition to our old TVs, we opt for cable that came from the 1970s: (mostly) broadcast channels only. The kids can watch PBS and we can watch the few network shows. No Nickelodeon or Disney Channel to infect my brats with High School Musical. The total cost: $15/mo, which is about what I value televison at. It is most certainly not the $100+ a month the cable companies charge for access to all channels in HD.

Even if I had all the channels, who is to say what’s on when you want to watch? Yes, I know you can get on-demand or a Tivo, but that just adds extra cost to something I already consider to be of marginal value anyway. Not to mention the added complexity of owning one of these devices and integrating it into your home audio/video system.

Meanwhile, watching what you want, when you want, is so simple a four year old can figure out how to do it. It’s legal, it doesn’t require complicated TV setups or cost any extra money, beyond the Internet connection I am already paying for. What’s not to like?


C-List #Cybersecurity Celebrity, Podcaster, #noagenda Producer, Frequenter of shiny metal tubes, Expressor of personal opinions, and of course, a coffee achiever.