Study shows our TVs aren’t as simple as it appears

A new study suggests that the age-old adage about putting water in the volcano still holds true. Watch how often you turn your TV on every day and the results may surprise you. A…

Study shows our TVs aren’t as simple as it appears

A new study suggests that the age-old adage about putting water in the volcano still holds true.

Watch how often you turn your TV on every day and the results may surprise you. A new study out of the department of electrical and computer engineering at The Ohio State University not only shows that people take at least an hour to do the seemingly minor tasks of changing the channel, activating the channel, and turning the volume up and down – well, you know the drill, right? You might be a power-miser who only turns the TV on about 20 percent of the time, according to the study’s findings. And if you’re letting the set die into a flickering zombie statistic for more than two hours a day, that can lead to unhappiness.

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The study compared hours of the average TV watcher’s lives to users of eight different electronic and maintenance products, and came to the conclusion that people do just a little bit of repair work when it comes to their gadgets: 10 minutes or so. It also found that, paradoxically, updating your television settings increased the amount of time people spent watching TV, but decreasing the amount of time people watched TV increased their desire to invest in a new TV. The study concluded that those that invested the most in up-to-date TVs had the happiest viewing experiences, and the product of those products could help users reduce TV durations.

The study also surveyed 1,100 people to gain further insight on the impact of their TV using habits. In the study, the top five TV behaviors that contributed to grumpy viewing experiences were:

Change the TV channel (50.3 percent) Change the volume (48.9 percent) Change the remote control (43.8 percent) Turning the volume up or down (38.9 percent) Watching TV in an “airplane mode” (37.7 percent)

How much time Americans spend watching TV was another piece of information that came out of the study, which did not identify a definitive answer to the key question. The average American watches about 12 hours and 40 minutes of TV a day.

The study did find a noteworthy weakness with all electrical and mechanical devices: people can’t fix any of them.

“We found that there’s a need for a more basic approach to more fundamental tasks,” said study co-author John Rober, director of the Ohio State University Institute for Computing, Technology and Decision Sciences. “You can learn the basics on a computer, but making an electrical or mechanical device is completely different, and consumers need a basic understanding of how it works.”

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The researchers noted that people who had “basic skills” in most routine household tasks were more satisfied with their lives than people who lacked these skills.

Although it did not make its way into the study, Rober said he hopes that a future study could hone in on how poorly people do fixing those fundamental chores, which could influence how we repair our electronics.

“We could look at how much time people spend fixing things, and compare that to the time they spend watching TV,” Rober said. “The conclusion of the study would be that people do fix things, but to the detriment of their quality of life.”

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