stupid tvs in pubs

Posted on 26 October 2009

tvbgoneI got on a really good rant on Friday night about how distracting televisions are in pubs. I’m not talking about TVs showing a football game that everyone’s into and getting rowdy about. I mean those terrible little ones, tucked away in a corner with the sound turned down having no effect other than to distract you with moving images.

I’m not sure if this is a problem you’re faced with, but I’m really distracted by moving pictures. Maybe it’s a short attention span, or maybe it’s a natural magnetism to anything technological but having a TV in eyeshot really ruins my conversational abilities.

In a fit of pique, I tracked down this cool little toy called a TV-B-Gone and ordered it. In about a week or two, I’ll be sure to carry this keychain size toy with me to the pub to turn the goddamn televisions off. I’ll let you know how it goes. I don’t reckon anyone will even notice me turning them off, though I do plan to be discreet enough to avoid getting beaten up. You just never know how turning off music video clips that have no sound might enrage people.

4 responses to stupid tvs in pubs

  • Brendan says:

    If only there was a similar thing for the shitty over-loud music. I’m sure that they think people will just go ‘Oh well, I can’t hear my friends talking, I suppose I’ll just go and buy another beer to postpone boredom related death.’

    I had a small remote that claimed be able to take control of any TV and then give you channel control etc. in addition to power. It worked on about 1/3 of TVs I tested it on and was a pain to set up. Then I gave up.

    I think the idea was that you would hold down the ‘scan’ button and it would cycle the ‘mute code’ for every known TV until the TV you were pointing it at muted. Then you would release the button and take control. Problem was that it just took too long. The alternative method of entering a code from a list based on make and model wasn’t much better.

    Hopefully your device will be faster, since it doesn’t necessarily need to hold each signal long enough for the operator to react to the mute effect and release the button before playing the next code.

    • cam says:

      Yeah, I think this one might work better by virtue of its simplicity – all it does is issue a rapid fire sequence of power-off signals for a whole bunch of different TVs. Apparently it takes just over a minute to issue them all, but groups the more common brands of television toward the start of the sequence. Time will tell! Shall post a review 😛

  • mimbles says:

    I’m the same with TVs, I simply can’t not look at them and I hate them being on in restaurants. The kids get fixated on them too, it completely kills conversation.

  • Gus says:

    I was chatting in a bar last night with a mate of mine who works at Foxtel – designing a way to use an iPhone to dial into his work, into the engineering system, and remotely change the channel of the set top box (which the broadcaster can do forcibly).
    Scary thing was the idea was technically extremely feasible – it was just a matter of ethics!

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