The primary television is in the Game Room. There is:
- a 46" flat-screen LCD TV
- a dvd player
- a Wii
- a Lenovo Q700 computer with a wired internet connection
The second TV is in an entertainment center at one end of our dining room. The whole setup consists of:
- A 27" flat screen LCD TV
- a dvd player
- a vcr
- a basic Roku box with wireless connection to the internet
- an antenna, which I almost forgot to mention because I just added it yesterday.
Playon is software that allows me to stream internet video to supported devices. That is, it goes out on the internet to get my show, converts it to a format my device can display and transports it wirelessly to my device. It doesn't have to run on a computer connected to the TV; that just happens to be the way I have it set up. Through PlayOn, I stream Hulu, prime time programs, my own video files and a stack of other channels. Mostly I stream to the Roku but I have at least five other devices that are compatible.
The antenna provides about ten amazingly clear local HD channels and two that are not so good. Ten channels is not so much but www.antennaweb.org tells me there are only 13 in my area, what can you do? I still need to put an antenna on the Game TV.
All this access and all these channels, how is this going to limit how much TV the kids watch? Well, honestly it's not really an issue of how much they watch. They play outdoors plenty. They have good grades, they have lessons on two instruments each and the lifetime sports to play. If it's miserable outside and their chores are done, don't hate me but I don't care if they veg out in front of the TV for a day. In fact, I'm fully supportive of weekend Star Trek Marathons (if only they would share my enthusiasm.)
What matters to me is that 1) they choose what they watch and 2) the advertisers don't get more influence than I do. I suspect that if they have to think about what to watch, sometimes they'll just do something else. Time will tell. I will let you know.