The one drawback of living in an era where endless quantities of really good TV shows and movies are constantly available with the press of a button is that it’s become a lot harder to stop paying attention to what you watch, and just lie around on the couch staring blankly into the middle distance for hours on end.
The site presents the image of one of several big clunky old TVs alongside a series of toggles that allows viewers to choose whether or not they want to see specific genres (talk shows, cartoons, news, etc.) or commercials while watching. In order to really nail the nostalgia aspect of the viewing experience, Cato has split My Retro TVs into five decades so users can choose to zone out to shows from the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, ’00s, or specific years within each period. (Past the 2000s, you might as well just mindlessly browse YouTube anyway.)
Each of the decades has its own era appropriate TV design, with on-screen controls that change channels, adjust the volume, or control the degree to which “vintage picture noise” and other effects are overlaid on the stream.
The TV channels work by grabbing video from YouTube and filtering it into its appropriate channel. As Cato puts it, the project is meant to “honor the pop culture memories of decades past” and “simulate the vintage experience of channel-surfing on a TV from a particular era.”
Based on the experience of flipping through channels on the ’90s TV and figuring that watching an Oasis music video is better than commercials, it seems like Cato’s accomplished the goal of his simulation, for better or worse.
[via Boing Boing]
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