A recent news item reported a consumer survey finding most people prefer watching TV on TV, rather than on a computer screen. (See Consumers prefer TV, not PC, for Web video.)
Well that's rather obvious (and if it weren't the case, why would homes with computers still have TV sets, and why doesn't every PC have a tuner card built in?)
But as TV just now begins to migrate from the big 35-inch screens of the living room to the tiny 2-inch screens of cell phones and portable media players, it should be clear that there's nothing undesirable about the "intermediate" 17-inch screen size of the PC.
It's not the size of the screen, and I would venture to say it's not even the technical differences like interlace, frame rates, jitter, scaling, color temperature and the like.
Rather, it's the appliance -- the black-box quality of TVs and consumer electronics that has them turn on instantly and work simply.
It's hardly an original thought, but as the ultimate convergence of an open-access Internet and the living room TV continues to unfold, the occasional news article reminding us that ease-of-use is a vital quality of the video landscape doesn't hurt. Designing products that are easy to use is not just a good thing to keep in mind; it's absolutely essential for the consumer video marketplace.