The iPad and the Return of Tummy TV

One of my first iPad impressions last year was how different it felt to hold moving images in your hands: "Watching HD videos on the iPad gives a strange sensation you don’t get from TV or laptop, a feeling of proximity, almost intimacy." Adam Lisagor, in a much longer post, shared a similar feeling:

"The iPad is for the nightstand. And for the sofa, and for the places between where you stand in line and where you sit at your desk. That’s why every iPad poster and billboard features it on a lap or a knee. They’ve stopped short of showing it on a chest in bed, but that’s where mine gets its most use."
"To my mind, holding a 10” screen a foot from my face in a dark room is more immersive than staring blankly at a 40” screen twelve feet away."
"iPad. It’s TV for your chest™."
Which reminded me of an 1965 ad from Bernbach's book for the new 5-inch TV sets by Sony that had become known, likely thanks to Bernbach, as tummy TVs ("so that your wife can sleep, we also include a personal ear plug").

-- image credits: 1, 2. Also from the same Sony series: Pee Wee Tee Vee and The Walkie-Watchie


  1. I have a "tummy tv" somewhere! When I was a toddler I was only allowed to watch Sesame Street in B&W on the "little tv" in the kitchen. Once I had finished all my porridge and then I was allowed to go into the lounge and watch the rest of the show in colour. I must find it so that I no longer need to buy an iPad.

  2. Ipads are just so personal. No matter where you jump, your movies are gona be wid u

  3. I have an iPad, but I don't necessarily used it as a TV. I use it while watching TV, and I use it to watch short YouTube videos, but for a real movie (i.e., 1.5 hours or more), I'd rather watch a real TV so I don't have to hold something for that long. I suppose that I might watch a movie on the iPad if I was traveling (i.e., in a plane or as a passenger on a long road trip), but I think that's different. In the home, I feel it's best used for Web browsing and whatnot, not as a replacement for TV.


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