Sharing is caring, they say.
It's not always so easy when the whole family gets together for entertainment, though. It's an American tradition to end the day decompressing to some of the best shows around from the comfort of the living room.
If only we could all agree on what the “best” shows are.
When my brother and I were children, we were at the behest of our father, required to jump up and run to the television to change the channel whenever he wanted. The shows were not always “entertaining” for my brother and I, but we really had no choice other than to watch whatever mom and dad were in the mood for. For the most part, the shows before bed were pretty fun as long as it wasn’t football season.
That would just mean our matchbox cars got some extra attention in our bedroom.
Television has evolved significantly over the years to improve this experience. I remember, sometime in the late '90s, my parents were able to buy their own Zenith television with an amazing magical feature. The remote had a special button labeled “PIP” for picture-in-picture which now meant we could watch TWO shows at once.
Well, sort of.
It honestly only came into play when my mother’s favorite show was on and a football game happened to fall in the same time slot. My father knew he was better off getting the score and some highlights in a tiny little corner screen rather than risk the ire of mom. There was even a “back” button that made it possible to jump back-and-forth between channels at the push of a button. The trick was finding two of the best possible shows to watch and trying to time commercial breaks. God help you if Tailspin, Darkwing Duck AND Gargoyles were on all at the same time. Tears would be shed.
Then, just as I was moving out for college, my parents finally got service from our sponsor DISH Network. I mean, wow, they timed that perfectly. Thanks a lot, Mom and Dad! Anyway, one thing that came with DISH at the time was the new super-computer DVR. This meant that my mom (God knows my dad wouldn’t do it) could record special shows for me to watch whenever I came home for the weekend.
Oh, and she'd also bake me cookies. There were cookies.
Remembering what it was like as a kid – and with the advent of so much great technology out there – the time has come. It’s my turn to shout at my kids and tell them what channel I want to the TV turned to.
Actually, now, DISH Network has made sharing even easier and way cooler. Nowadays, we make our television work for us and our four boys in ways my 10-year-old brain could never have imagined. Enter the Dish Network HopperGO.
The HopperGO is a small, portable DVR that works alongside our regular DVR, and helps us take all the awesome things from DISH Network wherever we go. Considering how much we travel, portability is a must-have when we're signing on for any at-home service. Otherwise, we'd be paying for stuff we can't access half the time! As usual when it comes to our smart home endeavors, Chelsea controls the whole setup with an app on her phone. With a few button-presses, she can transfer up to 100 hours of our recorded shows from the home DVR to a tiny, cordless, battery-powered and USB-chargeable box that requires no internet connection and doesn't use space or data on our mobile devices.
At home, this solution even makes it possible for the boys to watch their favorite shows on their tablets without separate streaming services. We don’t need to put a permanent TV somewhere else in the house for the kids to be able to watch Animal Mechanicals, for example. They just take a tablet off to the side, along with the HopperGO, and voila! Their favorite and newest episodes are available without tying up the TV.
Now I can enjoy my Grey’s Anat…football! Uh, yeah. I can watch football in peace. Nearly-endless entertainment now fits right in my pocket, totally untethered. And with the app and ability to stream to up to five different devices, I don't have to make the boys hop up and down to change shows.
Now, sharing really is caring…at home and on-the-go.
Does your family use on-the-go entertainment solutions?