Categories · Media, Audience, Place

Television and the Couch – a love story

The television. Possibly the most important accessory in any family home, it brings families together for hours on end to sit in beautiful silence as we enjoy the entertainment it provides. In the modern home, it is a must, a tv without a house is like a phone without battery, a car with no engine, a pen out of ink. Sure the purpose of the house remains, but it’s heart, it’s soul, is absent.

When I think of the TV of old, the use and purpose of it is different, it is less of an entertainment device and more of a meeting place to engage with news, both global and local. In fact I think the CRT’s of old resemble more of a fireplace than the modern day smart TV. Upon interviewing a classmate and hearing the stories of other people in class, it seems this is a fairly commonly held concept, with the exception of when and where the tv is located in the home. Minor details in the overall use of the TV in my opinion. Interviewing my parents, this concept seems to hold true. In fact in my Fathers case it seems that the physical switch from an ACTUAL fireplace to also having a TV was met with apprehension from his parents. At the time TV’s in the UK (where my grandparents are) were only just being distributed at prices available to the public, and living in rural Yorkshire there was little need for a TV as there were very few analogue signals that would even reach them. However after a few weeks of hearing about it’s success around the UK they purchased one, and have had one ever since.

Thinking about the rise of the TV strikes me as a great example of a need being created from nothing. Nowadays it would be almost absurd to not have at LEAST one TV in the home. It has become a need to keep up to date with the news, and now, to consume the latest premium entertainment. The same thing happened with the IPhone, nobody needed a smartphone before they were made, nobody saw the point. But once the people had one in their hands? There was no going back. It makes me wonder what the next extension of the media will become a need that nobody knows they need. 4K? 8K? OLED? Curved screens? These come to mind but none seem to have the traction as the mere concept of consuming media on the couch.

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