Image by Lyn Millett via Flickr
Spouse and I have finally entered the era of modern televisions. As part of an overhaul of the basement in our townhouse, we replaced our 15+-year-old cathode ray tube television with a large flat panel plasma tv. Or, as my 3-year-old calls it, a "big! giant! teevee!"
We've had it for just a couple of weeks, but it's already changed our content consumption habits. Now, there are a few factors contributing to that: first of all, the basement is now a much nicer and more comfortable place to be; second, we are both really wrung out from work and work travel, so once we persuade the sleep-resisting 3-yo to sleep and get the dishes washed and maybe some laundry done, neither of us has much energy for anything; and third, the political and climate news is just such a nightmare these days that being distracted by mindless entertainment is vastly preferable to keeping up with the news.
I'm also increasingly impressed and entertained with how easy it has become to access vast swaths of content through televisions these days. We've had a Roku for awhile (even on our old, fuzzy, small tv) that I've used primarily to access Netflix streaming. Roku also offers many other 'channels' though - and I recently started using it to access Pandora radio while hanging out in the basement. We also installed a digital antenna, which manages to pull in a few local channels over the air, even in the basement. And, as another part of our upgrade, I also installed an AppleTV device, which has some functionality that intersects with what Roku offers (e.g., Netflix streaming, and with a better interface), but also a lovely interface to my own content.
Spouse and I maintain a media library on my iMac that includes all of our music, podcasts we subscribe, the bulk of our photos, and a few videos. AppleTV on our big screen downstairs provides an elegant interface to all of that content. And I've already listened to music I hadn't bothered to access in ages through the playlists it created automatically for us. Very slick! And, I'm now inspired to get back to my massive photo organization project and create some clever smart photo albums to browse on the big! giant! teevee! downstairs. It's great fun. And we haven't turned cable on or installed any modern video game consoles yet, either. As I posted on my blog the other day, this modern era of limitless content is really something else.