Wednesday, 28 October 2009

I'm Going Flat Screen Mad!

So this month has been a frenzy of new business meetings. Melvin and his current employers are working hard to capitalise on the ‘green shoots’, such as they are. This means that Yours Truly has been in lots of clients’ office buildings, taxis, airports etc. Thus, I have observed an interesting phenomenon that has quietly swept across our nation without any comment.

As I blog, I am sitting in the departrure lounge in Terminal 3 at Manchester Airport. In front of me in the lounge are two very large flat screen TVs. Both of them are tuned to Sky News. The news looks interesting. But alas, I have no idea what the news actually is because, despite viewing it in glorious HD colour, I can’t hear a word the presenters are saying because the sound is turned off.

And so it has been in every location I have visited. Enticing pictures. No sound. No idea WTF they are talking about.

I ask you, what is the point of these silent flat screens?

Where did this almost obsessive requirement come from that every building must have expensive, electricity guzzling, CO2 producing flat screens on every available wall? When did that law get passed then? And why is the sound always turned off, rendering all TV viewing almost impossible?

Every reception area I have visited in the last month is festooned with flat screen TVs, sometimes whole walls of them. Always with the sound turned off. WTF is this all about?

I never sit at home with the TV turned on but the sound off. Do you? No.

I seem to be locked in a new 21st century version of Dante’s Hell – wall to all TV pictures but no sound.

Is this an attempt to look, in this media obsessed world, ‘cool’ because we have flat screen TVs in our office buildings? Is that how we define cool? And if it is, as we all now have silent flat screen TVs bolted to every bit of available corporate wall space, doesn’t that now make it ‘uncool’?

How much energy is sucked from the grid each day by these TVs that no one can hear? What is their carbon footprint, I wonder?

In the last few days, I have become slightly obsessed, counting how many silent flat screens I see each day. So far today – petrol station, Gatwick Airport, Manchester Airport, three separate corporate office buildings, one hotel and now back to Manchester Airport – I am up to 48. And it’s still only 1820 hrs. Still time for some more to greet me at Gatwick and on my drive home.

Someone save me from this silent flat screen hell.

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