Media Perspective: The lazy person's guide to 'sexing up' your TV experience
A view from Russell Davies

Media Perspective: The lazy person's guide to 'sexing up' your TV experience

I don't know about you, but I had a lovely weekend. Mostly idle, to be honest, slumped on the sofa in front of lots of sport on the telly.

But not entirely idle because, ever conscious of the needs of my esteemed readers, I was simultaneously doing experiments about the future of media. And here, for your consideration, is my report.

It started during the rugby union Six Nations clash between Scotland and Wales. I was half watching the game, half following Twitter on my iPad - it's a bit like having your funny friends in the room with you, offering a bit of gentle banter. But I was also settling into that Saturday- afternoon-sport-on-the-sofa-stupor where you just want to gaze at the telly and even stretching for a cuppa is a little too much effort.

So, switching focus from a close screen to a far screen and having to poke at the close screen with my lazy fingers was way beyond my energy level. I wasn't prepared to do that. On the other hand, watching telly with no level of social supplement is a horrifying prospect - TV on its own has just become too thin.

And then I realised there was an alternative and I hooked a little pico projector up to my laptop and pointed my browser at dextr. (which is a full-screen Twitter client I built with a couple of friends). That meant I now had Tweets from all my friends projected on to the wall next to my telly. (Which, fortunately, being idle, we have left free from distractions such as art or anything nice.) If you like, you can see pictures of the set-up at

And, to my surprise, this worked incredibly well. The latest generation of pico projectors can throw a picture across a medium-sized room without a roar from a fan and without being so bright as to be distracting - it didn't feel like you'd just walked into a presentation. In fact, it was better when the room was well-lit - the projection faded against the wall, leaving the Tweets still readable but not as bright as the telly, which felt like the proper relation- ship. And what worked best was seeing the Tweets and the TV in the same plane - not having to adjust your focus or move anything but your eyeballs. It's not just lean-back internet, it's lie-down internet. Perfect for a slightly dull rugby match.

I'll admit, this is not, in itself, a matter of much consequence - just a lazy man mucking about with gadgets.

But as all sorts of companies line up to sell us televisions with apps - ways to supplement our telly experience - it tells me a) there might well be something in it and b) we might find it easier and more fun to rig something up ourselves.