Why would anyone watch shows on an iPad from home?

Mar 17, 2011
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Why would anyone watch shows on an iPad from home?

Tell me something: why are so many people I know so excited to watch a movie or television show from their iPad when they’re at home?

I know what you’re going to say. While your significant other is watching their favorite show in the living room, the iPad (or another tablet) gives you the chance to watch what you want in another room without being forced to sit through another episode of a show you don’t like.

I’ll accept that. In fact, I know a few people that actually do that. But what I don’t (and never will) understand is the practice some people undertake of watching their favorite shows or movies on the iPad when there is a perfectly nice (and unattended) HDTV sitting in the living room.

I bring this is up is because I was presented with this scenario recently when I arrived at a friend’s home. I walked in and found my buddy sitting on the couch in the living room watching an episode from the last season of “24” on Netflix.

As one might expect, I had to address this.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“Just watching ‘24’ on Netflix,” he said.

“You have an Apple TV,” I responded. “Why not just watch it on there?”

“Oh, this is easier.”

Though I went about my day after the exchange, his response stuck in my mind. So, when I got home, I started to inquire with others to see if they too have watched a film or television show on a tablet, rather than on their HDTV when it was there for the taking. Much to my surprise, many of those I talked to have.

The results of my informal survey make some sense. Many of the major cable and satellite providers let customers watch content from the iPad in their homes. Time Warner Cable recently released the TWCable TV iPad app, and according to that company, demand for the app, which only lets users watch programming in the home, has been quite high.

I don’t get it.

The iPad to me is a fine device that can be used for entertainment away from the home. But when I have the opportunity to watch a movie or TV show, I’ll choose my television every time. The experience is more comfortable, it’s easier on the eyes, and perhaps most importantly, it allows me to be more immersed in the content I’m consuming.

Based on my non-scientific research, however, I’m starting to wonder if I’m alone in my thinking. It seems that the iPad and other tablets have become convenient entertainment tools in the living room.

Even so, I doubt I’ll join the proud group of people that use their iPad to watch television shows or movies on their iPads when HDTVs are readily available. I just don’t see any reason for it. And as far as I’m concerned, it’s nothing more than a drain on my iPad’s battery life.

What do you think? Should I join the ranks of those who sit on the couch in a quiet living room to watch movies on their iPad?


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