How to use your TV to increase happiness in your life…really!
I hate the month of January, and I know I’m not alone. The holidays are over, it’s dark and freezing outside, and I’m generally in the midst of three or four miserable resolutions aimed at getting back to my pre-December trouser size. It pretty much feels like a case of the Mondays—for 31 days straight.
For the less enthusiastic amongst us the thought of physically trying to drag ourselves out of the winter blues e.g. snowball fights, skiing, slipping on the ice in the park, whatever, is not as palatable as a passive way in to gearing up for the New Year.
As proud couch potatoes here at AB Aerials we like to advocate (only for a short duration of course!!) some serious “getting to know your TV” and get happy doing it whilst banishing the heavy over hanging cloud that is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
In terms of hours, watching TV is probably the world’s most popular pastimes and it’s the most common free-time activity – for an average of about five hours a day. It’s a source of relaxing fun.
But while television is a good servant, it’s a bad master. It can swallow up huge amounts of time, without much happiness bang for the buck.
Here are nine tips for keeping TV-watching a source of happiness:
- Watch TV with someone else. We enjoy all activities more when we’re with other people, and we tend to find things funnier when we’re with other people. Use TV as an excuse to get together. Sports TV, awards TV (the Oscars), competitionTV particularly on ITV, cult TV (Luther BBC1), and event TV (Dancing on Ice ITV) in particular, are a lot more fun to watch with other people. In fact, you can even…
- Use TV as a bridge. If you’re having trouble connecting with someone – your sweetheart or your teenager, say – try joining that person when they are watching TV (even if it’s football or Jeremy Kyle (heaven forbid )which may not necessarily be your favourite). Watching TV is companionable, you share an experience, you can comment on the action here and there for a bit of conversation It’s a way of showing someone that you want their company and engaging in a low-key, pleasant, undemanding way.
- Recording allows you to watch a particular show according to your own schedule and mood. Most important: if you’re sleepy, don’t stay up late to watch TV! Record a show, and finish watching it another time! Since I started my happiness project, I’ve become a sleepnut. Sleep is so crucial to energy, mood, and health.
- Don’t record shows. Anticipationis an important aspect of happiness. Looking forward to a certain day and time so will heighten the pleasure you’ll take in your favourite show. And it’s fun to think that you’re sitting down at the same time with people across the country to see what’s next on Eastenders. Also, you’ll be able to enjoy reading about it right away (see #6), without worrying about spoilers.
- Enjoy the commercials. This is particularly easy if you rarely watch TV. An enormous amount of ingenuity and creativitygoes into commercials, and they can be fascinating if you pay attention. Not only that surprisingly we enjoy TV more when it’s interrupted by commercials – in my opinion.
- Learn about TV. The more you know about something, the more interesting it becomes. Read some TV criticism, read some interviews with the creative people involved in the show, become more knowledgeable.
- Don’t surf. Especially if you’re feeling frazzled and overwhelmed with multi-tasking, sit down, start watching, sink into the experience and stay on one channel. Let the show unfold in its time slot; don’t keep switching around to catch bits and pieces of other shows.
- Do surf. One of the joys of watching cable TV is the cornucopia of shows on display. As is oft remarked, “So many channels, yet so little to watch”, but nevertheless I loveseeing the variety of sports, music, pop culture, dance, movies of all sorts, old TV shows, religious programmes, history – it’s fascinating.
Of course there are a myriad of ways to watch TV nowadays and we at AB Aerials are here to help whether you want to watch programmes via Freeview (through an aerial) or Freesat or SKY (through a satellite dish). Increasingly programmes are streamed through Netflix, Amazon Prime and the like which require a decent Wi-Fi signal – again we can help you with that too.
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More from the blog!
8 top tips to consider before buying a new TV
Don’t you know that Christmas is round the corner?? I bet an inordinate number of wish lists have TV’s firmly etched on them. So following on from my highly interesting and informative blog “A good time to buy a 4K TV” I thought it prudent to release to the world a checklist of things to consider when buying the said 4K TV or any other TV to that effect. These 8 top tips to choosing a new TV are what I advise my customers on a daily basis but also what I apply to my home TV and audio visual set up. I have factored in these 8 tips to be as honest and as open as possible.
- Choose the right screen size!
Start with the bleedin’ obvious as one can’t fit a square peg in a round hole. Bigger may not always be better too. Always choose a screen size appropriate for the distance you’ll be sitting from it otherwise you may feel engulfed in the film that you’ve decided to watch on a Saturday evening in. Not nice if it’s 50 Shades of Grey.
2. Screen Resolution
This determines the sharpness of the image and vary between 720 pixels (p), 1080p or full HD. Manufacturers are largely moving towards HDTV’s, Ultra HD and 4K which are your best bet for future proofing
This refers to the number of times the screen image is refreshed per second. The rate is measured in hertz (Hz) and you may have come across 60Hz, 120Hz or even 144Hz. The greater the refresh rate the smoother the flow ad there is a reduction in motion blur.
4. HDMI Ports
I’ve recently overlooked the fact that the TV I bought only had 2 HDMI ports. D’oh! Ended up having to introduce a HDMI matrix, at some cost I might add, to increase the HDMI capacity. The more ports the merrier, starting with at least 3. Be aware to ensure that they support HDMI 2.0 to accommodate future Ultra HD sources
Speakers are a must as most TV sound quality is poor but may not necessarily be required in a small room. The siren of wonderful picture quality may draw you on to the rocks where you’ll be metaphorically smashed to smithereens by the dreadful tinny sound coming from the corner of the room. Don’t be frugal, get a sound bar/plinth/speakers etc.
6. Colour Depth
Most recognised manufacturers don’t disappoint in this department. Look out for TV’s that serve up 8 bits per channel (or more). This ensures the TV is able to create enough depth to satisfy the human eye and present a photo-realistic image.
7. Curved or flat TV?
I think that this really is a first world problem. An existential question such as “to be, or not to be”. Personally I think curved TV’s have run their gimmicky course. The theory was that the screen followed the shape of the eye making the curves of the picture look sharper than flat TV’s. But if you’re little Billy shoved to the end of the sofa and away from the optimal seating position the picture geometry/image may look distorted. So flat TV’s it is.
8. Smart TVs
In general, the Smart TVs can connect to the internet and can stream content that way. It comes with certain apps including Netflix, where some connect via Wi-Fi. If you don’t want wires and want a clutter-free life, a smart TV might be the best option.
How can I help you?
AB Aerials are the leading choice for aerial installation and repair in Sheffield and South Yorkshire. Contact us to find out how we can help you make the most of your TV and home entertainment!