A Stowable TV

Managing kids’ screen time is a challenge. My wife and I cut the cable close to 7 years ago, so my children haven’t grown up in a traditional (read: advertising-supported) TV household. While we still owned a television, our screen time has been much more intentional.The last time we moved, we took an even bolder step: We got rid of the television altogether. In its stead, we bought an LCD projector and a soundbar. During the school year, we keep the projector stowed during most of the week. We bring it out Friday evenings for family movie nights, which happen every weekend evening unless we have other plans. The projector goes back into storage on Monday mornings. (The soundbar remains in the living room; it doubles as our sound system using Airplay.)

This approach has turned what would’ve previously been an individual attention suck into a family event we can all enjoy together. It satisfies the need for the kids to be into media without becoming beholden to the tube. (At least until they’re old enough to demand their own smartphones. Alas, the rumblings have already started in my household.)