Making TV news more viewable

I have a 21 inch TV. When I watch the news, somewhere between 1/3th and 1/4th of the screen is taken up by ticker updates (of stock), breaking news updates, score updates, and hold your breath, advertisements.

And that’s not the problem. The problem is that the content in the bottom of the screen is usually animated–it’s moving sideways or doing something fancy.

Ever been to presentations where the presenter discovered the animation feature in PowerPoint and used it liberally? Blinking text, blending, fly-ins, the works?

Well, watching TV news on Indian news channels now feels like you’re in such a presentation. You cannot properly focus on the news because there’s always something distracting your eye. It’s even worse on the business channels where the ticker takes up more space and is moving fast.

I’m sure that there’s a non-intrusive ticker moving speed because I’ve watched the news on the BBC and it isn’t so bad. ESPN-Star also uses the ticker sparingly during football matches, to display yellow card information or substitution or updates, but it’s not intrusive.

When the primary image is the point of focus, distracting the viewer by animation and moving text muddles the viewing experience. I wish someone would tell the Indian TV news channels this.

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