Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I just captured this image of an Aamir Khan interview while flipping channels. We have a split screen, plus four horizontal tickers providing different kinds of updates (the red strip at the top is vacant at the moment), plus the channel logo, plus an animated promotion crossing the screen every few seconds. At the moment it's covering much of Aamir's face.
Soon the main image will look like a slit in a window, the rest of the frame will be taken over by news flashes and ads.


seana graham said...

There was a certain point when I was a kid when our TV went on the fritz and we couldn't afford a new one. So first we watched shows on a set where the bottom of the screen flipped up on the top and made people look like they had their hands on upside down. Then it died still further and you could only watch the show on a thin line in the middle of an otherwise blackened set.

It's funny what you get used to.

jaimit said...

Most news channels want to create an illusion of action (my analysis). They try and jazz up the screen and have constant animation to keep people thinking that something is happening. It’s similar to an animated series for toddlers where things have to constantly happen given the notorious short attention span for toddlers (read Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, the chapter on toddler and TV research).
But now the attention span of the average audience seems to mimic the toddlers, hence all the graphics constantly move around, doing something, repeating in an endless loop. One ticker, then the next and the one after. Keep the eyeball entertained.
For the brain – the anchor keeps repeating the stuff enough times for the thick headed to sink in.

Girish Shahane said...

Seana, you've certainly had interesting childhood TV viewing. When did you finally get a new TV?
Jaimit, great analysis, agree about turning viewers into toddlers.

seana graham said...

Well, it was more a cyclical kind of thing--family fortunes and all. Even as an adult I've done without cable for most of my life and have an overly high tolerance for viewing things through "snow".

On your and Jaimit's real points, I think this kind of amping up of sensation is one of the reasons older viewers who are not used to it find it so annoying, and kids, who have never known anything else are able to filter it better.

It also reminds me of the steady progression of ads into online viewing.

Mumbai Paused said...

I think it's thanks to the internet. Looks like a netscape screen catpure from the 90s.