De centring screens

Tellyfurn1 So far this year has been an attempt to get the family Christmas present – a 24" monitor set up with a Wii into a usable condition. Which has involved a trip to cable hell – cables cost a fortune for it seems no very good reason. And nothing seems to talk to anything else. I've had to buy a box off Ebay so the Wii's SCART lead can convert the signal to HDMI.  I found after 2 weeks that the screen I had bought was SO advanced it had no sound so I've had to put a cable from the headphone socket to the 5.1 sound system – amazing how great (and loud) sound makes the pictures look better. We've invested in a Plus box so now we can watch in high definition, pause and record what we want when we want it. So hopefully we have now caught up.

One of the last pieces of the puzzle to add was a stand to put all this clobber on. I have included a couple of photos here taken at Ikea last weekend to show you where the designers think TVs should be and what we think of them. The answer of course is dead centre in pride of place.  The room should be built around the screen and the furniture if possible should draw the eye to the prime piece of technology at the centre of it.

Tellyfurn2 We didn't go for any of this. The reason why it has taken us such a long time to catch up is in part because we use many screens not a couple of large ones. The biggest screen in the house for the last 15 years has been a 22 inch TV which is a part of the living room but not the centre of it. That way we can talk to friends without wondering what we're missing on TV or trying to watch it at the same time!

The wifi network has become vital. Because the household are scattered around with as much as 50% of the viewing streaming onto laptops.  So the screens follow us around instead of than us being locked to central household locations to look at giant screens.  Our laptop bias is probably atypical. Much more common is households with lots of TV screens with a TV in each bedroom.  We've tried to keep the screens out of bedrooms to make the viewing public and a little more social.

I am probably over analysing this so this blog reflects the arguments and negotiations of the past fortnight.  Technology is so ubitquitous it is easy to build around us now. When we choose to make it central I think we should be quite self conscious about it. I have no interest in boasting about the size of my screen (Fnurgh)  or showcasing it to make a 'lifestyle' statement about myself. Where books and DVDs and all the other collectibles get displayed prominently – these are signposts about our values and how we want to present ourselves. I'm not anti the TV – but I don't want to lead with it – there is so much more that screens can do for us. And that is why screens will stay modest sized and moveable for the time being.

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