Tuesday, April 24, 2007

TV-B-Gone Giveaway and 20% Off Sale

Photo shared on Flickr by jasoneppink

Yesterday I defended television's right to exist and our right to watch it. It was a lot of words. Too many, probably. But this I can say in pictures.

This is when TV sucks. Worse - it violates our moral, if not specifically our political rights. And we have a right to combat it.

Photo shared on Flickr by bradlauster

Photo shared on Flickr by Bill Ruhsam

There are an increasing number of interesting ways to turn television in public space on its head; I write about them whenever I see them.

When all else fails - when you need public space to be truly public, and not dominated by the presence of CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, or whatever channel some unnamed and absent social planners decided to inflict on a bunch of people who have better things to do, there's TV-B-Gone.

Thanks to Cornfield Electronics and inventor Mitch Altman, I have five TV-B-Gone devices to give away. These are third-generation TV-B-Gone devices, programmed with the latest power codes for new-model big-screen televisions.

Post a comment telling others where you'd most like to turn off a TV not your own. I'll select five commenters at random tonight at 10 p.m. CST and announce them Wednesday morning. I'll ship out the five donated TV-B-Gones to the winners on Monday or Tuesday.

I've also negotiated an exclusive 20% discount on the third-generation TV-B-Gones through the end of May. This is a deal you won't find anywhere else, and can get a new TV-B-Gone into your hands for less than you'll find anywhere else online. Less than a buck from every purchase will go to support Think In Pictures. To buy one, go to the TV-B-Gone website, buy a new 3G TV-B-Gone, and use the coupon code THINKPICS. Thanks, Mitch!


Brian Sawyer said...

I met Mitch last year and had a great talk about the many uses I'd have for his invention. But turning it off in the pediatrician's waiting room alone would justify the entire purchase price. In fact, that power would truly be priceless.

Becky said...

The TV that I'd most like to turn off is the one in my ob/gyn's office. I swear that they were playing the same CNN health program every time I went in there during my last pregnancy.

adrienne said...

How about the ER waiting room? There's enough anxiety in that room without adding fear-based newscasting.

Also, anywhere FOX News is playing while I'm trying to eat.

zs said...

Yes, I love TV-B-Gone! In my former welfare office the TV was often blasting Jerry Springer. I will go back and help others with my TV-B-Gone!

Rygg said...

I would like to turn the TV(s) off at Chili's Nothing worse than trying to talk to the kids and they are staring at the tv and not even eating.

AJ said...

I'd like to turn off the TV in the play area of our health club. Here you have a spot filled with toys and other kids ready to play and interact with each other and staff paid to engage the kids in activities. But there is a TV mounted on the wall blaring cartoons, encouraging the kids to sit quietly and stare into oblivion. This makes as much sense as mounting TVs on playground equipment.

nathan said...

I think these gizmos are a neat idea, though I don't think I'd want to use one at Chili's, as rygg suggested. Usually there's a gaggle of sports fans watching the game, and that might get a little ugly!

bronius said...

Very innovative idea.. I must say, however, that I wouldn't be so quick to click, myself. I would prefer to approach the venue and negotiate a change in channel, reduction in volume, etc to voice that at least one person is turned off by the rays mindlessly buzzing my mind.

Now, if you can find something to turn off obnoxiously loud pickup trucks and cameros on the road... I would be All in for that!

Scott in NOLA said...

I think the most idiotic place for a television to be playing is in a crowded bar or restaurant. I understand the notable exception of sporting events -particularly "big games" such as playoffs, and particularly in sports bars. But let's face it, many many bars and restaurants do not need television. Social interaction, and enjoying an experience are supposedly why people congregate in such places! Off with their televisions!

Brian said...

This has to be one of the best inventions of the past 25 years or so. I enjoy TV, I do, but it has a place, and that place is not public places. Thanks for passing on this great invention!

hokie99cpe said...

I'd like to see the TVs at the local gym get turned off. Folks! You're there to workout! Not watch TV!!!

Jennifer Lance said...

Hospital waiting room....I spent five hours in one the other day. I got a headache from sitting under the tv in the only spot available.

Sandi said...

I would turn off the TV at private parties where the TV is on for no reason to begin with. Everyone is talking and enjoying themselves, but someone in the room felt compelled to turn on the TV as background noise instead of playing music. Annoying!

Natalie said...

Oh, I wish I had known about these the last time I flew - was stuck in an airport during a layover, and there were TVs everywhere, all showing the same annoying "revolving news" (as my mom calls it). There was no place to sit where you couldn't see one of them. Flying these days is stressful/unpleasant enough without being bombarded by pictures of worldwide strife and violence.

The other place I can think of where this gadget would be useful is at the laudromat. You try to pick a time to do laundry when the place is the most empty, yet there is a TV blaring in the corner (and there are no employees around to ask to turn it off).

Diana said...

Why of course, the dressing room! You're standing at this quintessential moment deciding if this bikini doesn't cause the slightest bulge or outline your cellulite, and who needs a Slimfast commercial to come on? I get it, I get it! No pizza for a month!

:D Thanks Jeremiah for reminding me of the deeper moments in life.

Jim said...

There are tons of places that I would love to turn off the TV.

* The Gas pump. These freak me out whenever I come across them and they ONLY play commercials or a little weather.

* The local restaurant that has a block of TVs ALWAYS showing ultimate fighting in the bar area, but has a direct line of sight from the family eating area. It is disturbing watching all the little boys staring at it slack jawed and the blood is unappetizing.

* The devil in me wishes this worked with the LCD TVs in mini-vans. But that's the devil in me.

* Any public place where the TV playing is causing disagreements and fights among children. I have been in far too many waiting rooms where kids are fighting over what is playing and there is not much concern from the parents. Being able to surreptitiously take the TV out of the equation would be a godsend.

* Break rooms everywhere. Why do so many break rooms have a TV that runs constantly and few people watch?

* The appliance store. If I want to focus on one set, it is nearly impossible. Being able to turn them all off and then hit the power on the one that I am interested in would be great.

The TV begone also works in reverse. If a TV is off, my understanding is that it will turn it on.

While it sucks to have always have a TV on, sometimes it is nice to be able to turn one on without having to get permission.

In some ways I agree with your previous post about TV turn-off week. I tried it in the early days when I was totally addicted. I used to live in Europe when my dad was stationed overseas and we got one channel (Armed Forces Network, AFN) which was a hodge podge of network TV from the states, spliced together with more re-enlist propaganda than you could shake a stick at (no kidding... think of how insane you would if all your commercials were those army of one things).

When I came back to the states for college, I had no idea that subway was a chain restaurant and that the lame commercials for encyclopedia britannica had actually followed the same actor since he was a kid (I thought they were lame, everyone else thought it was cute).

So, I kind of engorged myself on it and found that I am really susceptible to advertising. TV turn off week helped me with that and slowly, I became much more media savvy. But that was back a few years, before the change in focus to screen time. I think that IS kind of lame.

We don't watch regular network programming as a family because the American Pediatrics Association recommends no TV for kids under two and very limited TV for kids under three.

We do use the computer and generally watch movies and TV shows on DVDs on our laptops or from sources like cbs' innertube, but usually after our son is in bed.

He has watched us play video games and has tried as best he could to engage with Dance Dance Revolution. We are thinking about getting a wii to see if he'd like that. I also regularly play with gCompris (or Debian Jr) an open source suite of games for kids. He loves the letter flash card game that shows a letter and an animal and then says its name followed by the sound it makes.

In all things, moderation, I suppose.