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by Chris Burke
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1079: TV Screens Over Time
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Mr. Michael Keegan, Math Teacher

I'm waiting for 40-inch tablets.

Television was the center of family life ... until it was so successful that we had televisions in every room, and the family split up and retreated into their own areas. But still, the center was the living room TV because it was the greatest receiver of all, at least in terms of size. But then that stopped mattering.

For a long time, television sets were limited by the size of the cathode ray tube, making the set to heavy to move and too big to place on any piece of furniture. After a certain size, they became impractical.

And then the flatscreen arrived, and screen sizes (as measured by the diagonals) took off again.

But then something odd happened. Mini-TVs started to have more clarity, and then they slowly grew in size. And then streaming video on phones and tablets became practical, and, again, the clarity and the sharpness of the screens rivaled the bigger cousins.

Shortly after the turn of the 21st century, PDAs shrank and phones grew (after originally shrinking) until they became the same gadget. But then the gadgets kept growing, coincidentally at the same time that streaming has taken off. So people have given up 50 inch screens for 5 inch screens, but the miniatures are getting bigger again.

Personally, I have a big screen in the bedroom where my DVR is, but I'll occasionally watch shows from the DVR on my iPad, but that's for convenience, not a preference.

In any case, I find the situation both curious and amusing.


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