Their website is slashdotted, but Wired's article Inventor Rejoices as TVs Go Dark, is enough to make me want a TV-B-Gone. (spotted via Boing-Boing, natch)
It fits on your keychain, “looks like an automobile remote, has just one button. When activated, it spends over a minute flashing out 209 different codes to turn off televisions, the most popular brands first.”
Some people will say it's antisocial, but so is the problem it solves. Wonder how much it costs?
Its free, if there’s a universal remote in your house. Same function, just code scanning for the control…and all three of tv-b-gone’s sites are down, but here’s an article that says it goes for $19.00 in Canuck money…
Or $15.22, approximately…
Not sure how I feel about this. At my undergrad they wouldn’t let us have TV in the dorms because it was considered ‘anti-social’. Of course everyone just spliced cable from the dorm lounges into their rooms. But when this happened people didn’t just hole up in their rooms staring at their TVs (as would be so easy to do during the Maine winter). Rather, people would generally take breaks in their studying to gather in one person’s room to watch a favorite show (say ‘ER’ or ‘Friends’). So when we had TV in our dorm rooms socializing didn’t go down…it actually went up (I think people spent less time on the internet/playing computer or console games and would go watch TV with others). So I’m not sure how anti-social TV is in certain situations.
I saw the link on BoingBoing yesterday, before it was slashdotted, and the price for the gadget was about $15 with $5 for shipping (US dollars, in country shipping.)
Watching TV is anti-social? How should one call «forcing other people to accept your opinions and tastes and to stop doing what they like and start doing what you like instead»? A more useful gadget would be some kind of control that would emit vibes of compassion, understanding and tolerance in the room.
Noise is going to be the 21st century version of cigarette smoke.
$15.00 (well, $14.99).
I still don’t like it though. Reading more and more about it, the whole thing seems like an Atkins diet for TVs. Forget having the willpower to not watch, we’ll just kill it for you. It doesn’t solve the underlying problem though (that you have to live with a TV and your attention span and social skills have declined so greatly).
“Altman, 47, first got the idea for TV-B-Gone a decade ago when he was out with friends at a restaurant and they found themselves all glued to the perched TV instead of talking to each other. No one was around to turn the TV off.” I say, why not just force yourself to stop watching? (I know Altman did but why didn’t he do so then and why didn’t he get his friends to stop watching either?)
When I was growing up my parents didn’t have cable and significantly limited how much TV I was allowed to watch. Now I have cable and I almost never watch it. I couldn’t tell you what 95% of the stations I get are. When I do watch TV it consists mainly of sporting events and news (I count the daily show as news). Watching sports on TV is a social event for me…if I’m not at a friend’s place (or don’t have guests at mine) I’ll go to a sports bar. Watching the news, well I normally do that alone. I’ll catch a regular show from time to time (mostly Law & Order) but that’s about it. My attitude towards TV is take it or leave it, but when I’m out at a restaurant or with friends I’m not fixated on the TV…I don’t even notice one is there a vast majority of the time.
I agree that noise will be the 21st century version of cigarette smoke but I don’t think the solution is to force other people’s TVs off. I think it’s a matter of self control and willpower not to watch. And hey, maybe there are times when the TV is more interesting than the conversation…