Dirt: Three TVs at once

When do you need three giant flatscreens???

Dirt is a daily email about entertainment.

Ryan Gilliam, a news writer at the video game site Polygon, has published an elaborate justification for why he and his wife definitely, absolutely need three TVs, with two on the bottom row and one centered above like so:

The bottom two are displaying video games while the top plays a TV show, just for a little added content. “If you’re into video games and your partner or roommate is also into video games, you relate to the struggle of wanting the TV so you can do your thing,” Gilliam writes. Hence the multi-TV solution: They each get one flatscreen to themselves, plus one to share.

Video games do take up a lot of screen real estate, not to mention dozens of hours. They amount to screen monopolies: You can either watch as someone else plays or take turns. Not only can Gilliam and his wife play at the same time, immersing themselves in two separate game worlds, they can also maintain a concurrent shared experience, so as not to be entirely apart:

“We hang out together for hours after work and I still get to play almost everything that comes out each year. The third TV gives us something to experience together, even when one of us is playing a game the other couldn’t care less about.”

All content must have other, complimentary content going at the same time: the ultimate in ambient television. Not to mention the two added omnipresent iPhone screens and probably a laptop just to check up on work stuff.

Double- and triple-screens for couples or roommates are an entire genre, it turns out, and they flourish on Reddit. Here’s a double Zelda “his and hers” setup:

And a triple-screen that Redditors ragged on for its clashing McMansion aesthetics:

Here’s one that suggests watching a move with your in-laws while playing some Call of Duty on the parallel screen (the tennis ball and socks combo, oof):

I saw this one image at one point in the past few years and it’s haunted me ever since. I didn’t dig it up again until now, but here it is:

What is it about this interior that disturbs me so much? Is it the anonymous suburban view outside the window blinds, or the extra-long extrusion of the couch? Or is it the backlights behind the TVs, like they’re sports cars, or the West Elm media consoles with display shelves? In the end it might be the unpleasant sensation of getting older and the fact that my generation, who aspired as teenagers toward these symbols of comfort, are now mature and wealthy enough to be remaking domestic spaces in our own image.

IMO: If you need three TVs on one wall, you are consuming too much content. — By Kyle Chayka

The Dirt: Please go outside.