The complexities of running a living room television set have really increased in the past few years.
How many different video and audio sources do you now route through your television and living room entertainment center, if you have one? For us, the list has grown to include a DVD player, a computer (mainly for NetFlix streaming,) a game system, an iPod, and a videoconferencing unit. I’ve recently purchased an S-video switch box, so we can avoid having to unplug and re-plug cables when we’re viewing different video sources on our television. Recently, I took the time to create a short “instruction sheet” of settings for the different devices we have connected to our entertainment center. This is honestly more for my wife than anyone else, but it may come in handy for my kids in the future. Generally our 11 year old can manage any of the required settings to get media running in the living room by himself.
We actually pulled out some old VHS tapes from the garage recently, and watched one of those. It was the video of our wedding. None of our kids remembered ever seeing it before. My 6 year old asked, when she saw the VHS tape, “What is THAT?!” I don’t think she’d ever previously seen a VHS tape, or at least remembered seeing one.
We have yet to try Hulu. I honestly don’t watch much TV now, but I’m betting if I give Hulu a try that behavior pattern would change.
Our DVR continues to be one of the most beneficial and transformative digital technology appliances in our house. My 6 year old may not recognize a VHS tape, but she can run the DVR like a seasoned professional– faster than either my wife or I can run it.
Have you had to create a family “how-to guide” to help others run your living room television? This seems a bit ridiculous, but it’s also a sign of the times with media convergence.
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