Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Television Idle

TV Programmers Seek the Elusive Dog Market 199

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-does-your-fish-read? dept.
HonorPoncaCityDotCom writes "Stanley Coren reports that a number of new television stations are providing programming specifically designed for dogs and while many people report that their dogs completely ignore what is visible on television, with modern resolution and quicker imaging, more dogs have become potential television viewers. The increase in dog viewership is primarily attributed to the way the dog's eye works. The image on a standard television screen is updated 60 times per second and since a human's flicker fusion frequency is only 55 Hz, the image appears continuous and the gradually changing images give us the illusion of movement. However dogs can discern flickers at up to 80 Hz so with the increased availability of high-resolution digital screens that are refreshed at a much higher rate, the images are less likely to appear to be flickering to the canine eye. Presentation factors are also an issue. Dogs are most likely to respond to images that have been captured at the eye level of a dog with a low camera angle where there are moving things like animals or birds. But even if that requirement is fulfilled, most dogs do not watch television because the TV is normally placed at a comfortable eye level for human beings and dogs do tend not to scan upward, and therefore do not notice the TV images. All of which brings us to DogTV, the first cable network to deliver 24-hour programming for dogs that lets you flip on the channel while you go out for the day as your pet is stimulated, entertained and relaxed. 'If the dog wasn't enjoying it, he would find something else to do, like nibble on the end of a sofa,' says veterinarian Ann E. Hohenhaus."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

TV Programmers Seek the Elusive Dog Market

Comments Filter:
  • dog TV (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15, 2013 @10:21AM (#44284123)

    I hope there are a lot of bitches on TV.

    • I think that'll be the new dog pr0n channel, but it'd likely flop (dogs are driven by smell in that department, not sight. Also, a neutered dog isn't likely to care at all.)

      I'm just curious as to what they consider "eye level" for the typical dog, though - the eyes on my Dachshunds (aka the 'low-rider dobermans') are a helluva lot closer to the ground than those of a Great Dane.

    • Why not for cats? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I doubt dogs can tell gender. To thread hijack - my cat watches my LCD TV often. He gets confused by panning shots, loves birds and sort of recognizes cartoon animals if they have realistic animal noises. He is scared of any doorbell like noises as he is shy, but seems curious about dogs more than scared. Unless it is birds he doesn't really stand under the TV tranced. He loves watching duck or goose hunting and I think understands most of what is going on now, kind of freaky. He also has a word for b

  • by gl4ss (559668) on Monday July 15, 2013 @10:24AM (#44284155) Homepage Journal

    well.. maybe the dog is compelled to keep an eye on the evil trans dimensional window so that no baddies come in through it.

    otoh, maybe that's good times for a dog..

    • Pff, the real danger is the large trans dimensional window in all of the owners' sleeping rooms. There's always another dog trying to get in whenever my pup would enter the room.

      Seriously though, never had my dogs care that much about the TV. Maybe a little but nothing much.

      But as puppies, watching them react to mirrors was hilarious! Depending on the dog, they'd treat the reflection like an intruder or perhaps immediately take them to be a new new friend. In either case it would be a hyped up reaction.

    • Meanehile, I've heard that dogs have a hard time seeing actual images on the screen due to how their eyes are setup. That perhaps a bright-yellow ball flying across the grass on the TV might as well appear like Pong (black screen, white box flying across).

      But I used to hear this a lot back on the old tube / CRT days. Who knows if flat panels work differently since they're not scanning each frame.

  • Aquarium Chanel (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HappyHead (11389) on Monday July 15, 2013 @10:24AM (#44284161)
    My dog always liked the Aquarium Chanel on satellite. It would keep him occupied for hours if I was going out - he'd still be sitting there watching the fish going back and forth, occasionally looking around behind the TV to try and find them.
    • by slashmojo (818930)

      It would keep him occupied for hours if I was going out - he'd still be sitting there watching the fish going back and forth

      That's what he wanted you to think.. probably just heard you returning with his super canine ears and quickly stopped whatever mischief he was up to..

      • by HappyHead (11389)
        Neah, I had a networked camera to watch the place - every time I checked, all day long, he was in front of the TV staring at it, or looking around the side of it. It was like it was hypnotic or something. When he got into mischief while I was away (without the TV on), it would be pretty obvious. Torn open and empty dog food bin, (and a dog who couldn't walk properly because his stomach was so full - that was a fun explanation at the Vet.) all of the blankets from my bed dragged out into the hallway, or
  • Ad supported? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TWX (665546) on Monday July 15, 2013 @10:24AM (#44284163)
    Okay, I'm curious as to how the business model for this works. Aren't most TV networks ad-supported? If the human isn't really paying attention to the TV then the human isn't going to really pay attention to the ads, and obviously the pet doesn't have the ability to make financial transactions on their own, and unlike kids' TV programming, can't nag the human into buying things for them...
    • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Monday July 15, 2013 @10:27AM (#44284197)

      monthly cost varies by cable provider and is between $5.99/month - $9.99/month (or $9.99 for the online streaming service and Roku)

      Directv will have it for $5.99

    • by lxs (131946)

      From skimming the site I think it's subsription based. Speaking as a human, I was entertained by the sample clips [dogtv.com]. Also note that the image is in color which suggests to me that this is geared at least partly toward the owners.
      Come to think of it, this may be an even bigger hit with students than the Teletubbies were back in the '90s. Perfect for a stoned afternoon on the couch.

      • by tuck182 (43130)

        Also note that the image is in color which suggests to me that this is geared at least partly toward the owners.

        Dogs aren't color blind in the "they can only see in black and white" sense that most people think. Their range of color perception is more limited than humans', but they still can perceive colors.

        According to the DogTV faq, they'd messed around with the color and contrast of the images so they're more apparent to dogs.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        From skimming the site I think it's subsription based. Speaking as a human, I was entertained by the sample clips. Also note that the image is in color which suggests to me that this is geared at least partly toward the owners.

        Dogs, despite common belief, don't see in just black and white. They do have limited color vision (usually limited to blue and yellow) as well. Of course, recording in color means the differences in color vision is narrowed down.

        Anyhow, I had dogs that reacted to dogs on TV (even upsc

    • by Rhacman (1528815)
      It lends itself to advertising slightly better than:

      "Hey kids! It's time for your favorite daytime television program on America's lowest rated TV network, the YUV Colorbar Show!!! Starring your pals Luma and the Chroma twins!"
  • wrong (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Monday July 15, 2013 @10:27AM (#44284203)
    "The image on a standard television screen is updated 60 times per second"
    I'm fairly certain that all US broadcast TV is around 27 FPS and non-HD cable is the same and there's no way satellite wastes bandwidth on high FPS. I think only HD is 60FPS. Just because an LCD is refreshing at 60 or 120Hz doesn't mean that's what the tower or cable company is sending.

    Also, dog TV is a stupid idea. The last thing I want is my dog ramming and clawing to death my expensive television.

    Fill disclosure: I don't actually have a dog or a TV. I'm allergic and live in an apartment and I use a tuner card on my PC.
    • by sunami (751539)

      The flicker issue is dependent on how often the screen refreshes, not how often the image changes.

    • by jbengt (874751)

      "The image on a standard television screen is updated 60 times per second"
      I'm fairly certain that all US broadcast TV is around 27 FPS and non-HD cable is the same . . .

      US broadcast TV is around 30 FPS, but the image on the screen is updated at around 60Hz. The confusion may be that standard TV is interlaced - it only updates every other line each time, therefore a full frame takes 2 cycles. Most HD TV stations/ cable channels also broadcast interlaced, even though most HD TVs are now capable of full 60

  • And now (Score:5, Funny)

    by kryliss (72493) on Monday July 15, 2013 @10:31AM (#44284249)

    a word from our sponser.

    Woof woof woof bark bark howl bark bark bark growl woof woof woof wimper pant pant pant woof bark bark bark hooooooooowwwwwwwwwllllllll Purina!!

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday July 15, 2013 @10:35AM (#44284305) Homepage

    Good evening. Here is the news for dogs. No dogs were involved in an accident on the M1 today when a lorry carrying high-octane fuel was in collision with a bollard. That's a bollard and not a dog. A spokesman for dogs said he was glad no dogs were involved. The Minister of Technology today met the three Russian leaders to discuss a £4 million airliner deal. None of them lay in their crates, chased their own tails, or ate any of the nice raw beef yum, yum. That's the end of the news, now our program for dogs continues with part three of 'A Tale of Two Cities', specially adapted for dogs by Joey.

    • That's the end of the news, now our program for dogs continues with part three of 'A Tail of Two Cities', specially adapted for dogs by Joey.

      Aw, c'mon, man, that was an easy one!

  • The flicker fusion amount isn't a number. A DLP projector at 120Hz will drive me crazy but 240Hz is less noticeable. A CRT set to 60Hz will just about make my eyes bleed but 75Hz won't. An LCD set to 60Hz looks like a smooth motion to me. DLP merges RGB with a noticeable dark gap between them. CRTs have a high amount of luminosity difference between the frames so it's more noticeable. LCDs are very subtle and can get away with a lower Hz without humans noticing it. So not only is it different between
    • With the exception of the (distinctly expensive) 3-element DLP systems, the frequency is a bit of a lie.

      In a single DLP setup, you only have one mirror array, of whatever resolution, which can attenuate each pixel more or less. That alone would only get you a greyscale image, so they toss a color wheel(and it is a literal wheel, the psychedelic seizurevision effect that occurs if the wheel or its drive motor are encumbered by dust or debris and start spinning out of sync with the rest of the system is somet

    • It''s not a number. OK, what is it? A vegetable?

    • The flicker fusion amount isn't a number. A DLP projector at 120Hz will drive me crazy but 240Hz is less noticeable. A CRT set to 60Hz will just about make my eyes bleed but 75Hz won't. An LCD set to 60Hz looks like a smooth motion to me. DLP merges RGB with a noticeable dark gap between them. CRTs have a high amount of luminosity difference between the frames so it's more noticeable. LCDs are very subtle and can get away with a lower Hz without humans noticing it. So not only is it different between people but it's different depending on how different color or brightness-wise the frames actually are.

      That is actually because LCDs have a separate frequency for the backlight, which is much higher than the picture frame rate.

      Also see Ask Slashdot: Does LED Backlight PWM Drive You Crazy? [slashdot.org]

  • by kaizendojo (956951) on Monday July 15, 2013 @10:45AM (#44284425)
    it becomes DogTV - "After Dark"... featuring the Humping Things Show and Hot Bitches in Heat.
  • 7pm - How I met your Rover (CBS)
    8pm - CSI: Cat Scene Investigation (NBC)
    9pm - Bitch Swap (LifeTime)
    10pm - WooWoo Scooby Doo (Hustler HD)

  • by gordona (121157) on Monday July 15, 2013 @10:46AM (#44284453) Homepage
    My pooch will stare at our 42" LED screen. He goes crazy when a talking head appears and stares back at him. The dog doesn't like strangers staring at him. He also reacts to other animals on the screen and cartoon characters. Sometimes he'll run around to the other side of the wall on which the TV is mounted as if he is looking for something behind the TV/wall as if the TV were a window to the other side of the wall. And no, the dog is not on drugs (neither am I).
    • Yup, I've seen this as well.

      We had a King Charles spaniel that used to jump up at the screen and bark whenever there was horse racing (flat racing) on the TV.

      Even funnier, though, was that he was a *big* fan of "Walking With Dinosaurs" - he used to get very aggressive, bark, & try to face down the dinosaurs on the TV. I always thought that it was a real testament to the computer animation on that show that it could trick him into thinking they were realistically moving animals.

  • Not a joke? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nozzo (851371) on Monday July 15, 2013 @10:50AM (#44284499) Homepage
    I checked, it's not April 1st.

    I don't know what to say about dog TV.
  • by Tridus (79566) on Monday July 15, 2013 @10:51AM (#44284503) Homepage

    I guess the dogs are too smart to watch the crapfest channels like TLC, so we need better channels to cater to them.

  • discord5 reports that slashdot is attempting to provide articles specifically designed for geek and while many people report that their geeks completely ignore what is visible on slashdot, with modern HTML5 and AJAX, more geeks have become potential slashdot readers.

    The increase in geek readership is primarily attributed to the way the geek's eye works. The buildup of a standard webpage is updated once per click and since a human's maximum clicking frequency is only 55 Hz, the webpage appears continuous and

  • But even if that requirement is fulfilled, most dogs do not watch television

    I say their reasoning is wishful thinking. There are a lot of dogs who are too intelligent to get drawn into watching TV.

    What next? News for dogs, stuff that is edible?

  • Years ago my wife bought a VHS tape that was intended to entertain cats. It was all videos of squirrels, birds, and other prey moving around and making sounds. One of our two cats ignored it, but the other was fascinated. He could watch the entire one-hour tape without getting bored. He would occasionally try to move around behind the TV to get a better vantage point. At first he would often swat at the images on the screen, but he learned fairly quickly that he couldn't catch them that way.

    • My dad once had a cat that would watch tennis. Didn't care about nature shows or anything else... but as soon as he heard the homoerotic sound of 2 people grunting and smacking a little ball with rackets, he would appear and sit mere inches from the screen, watching the game intensely.

      Cats are strange animals.

  • by gardyloo (512791) on Monday July 15, 2013 @11:17AM (#44284835)

    If I'd just smelled the latest rumor that there are birds in my neighborhood which are NOT animals, I'd be on the lookout for them, too!

    • by Covalent (1001277)
      This was exactly what I was thinking. I hear this all the time as "Animals and Insects". And then I find myself yelling at the TV: "They are multicellular mobile heterotrophs!"

      And then I remember what a sad sad nerd I am.
    • They're NSA robots. Better not to interfere with them.

  • by geminidomino (614729) on Monday July 15, 2013 @11:28AM (#44284993) Journal

    Talk about life imitating art.

    "If only I could fire that poor son of a bitch" -- Frank Cross (Bill Murray), in response to exec Robert Mitchum's "suggestion" to create programs appealing to dogs and cats.

  • Instead of the next moar-pixelz video standard, I'd like to see the frame rate kicked up a notch. The 60fps game streams are wonderfully fluid to watch at twitch.tv, for example.
  • by bradley13 (1118935) on Monday July 15, 2013 @11:33AM (#44285063) Homepage

    Quick, hold up your hand if you laughed when your puppy first encountered a mirror! It's hilarious: "OMG there's another dog in the room". Depending on the dog, they will be fooled once, twice, maybe three times - that's it. Afterwards they realize that there's nothing there, and ignore it. It's the same for television. We have a herding dog, and the first time he saw animals on television (I think it was sheep), "OMG, I gotta go herd". Second time, he looked and then yawned. He didn't look a third time. Anyone who pays attention to their animals will have seen this. They know what's real and what's not. Things that are not real are not interesting.

    There are already far too many dog owners who think that dogs are like furniture: there when you want them, and otherwise they can be ignored. Dogs need activity, they need interaction with their owners, they need a job to do (especially the working breeds). This stupid idea is going to make bad dog owners even worse: They will think they've done something to keep their dog busy, and will feel even less obligated to actually take proper care of their animals.

    • My girlfriends dog loses her shit when she sees the dog in the mirror. It is really quite entertaining.
      This happens often enough that we have given the mirror dog a name.
  • by jjeffries (17675) on Monday July 15, 2013 @11:38AM (#44285125)

    Being able to discern flickers at 80hz probably makes fluorescent lighting annoying as fuck.

  • by stabiesoft (733417) on Monday July 15, 2013 @11:41AM (#44285161) Homepage

    Is there a cheaper plan with just audio? My dog doesn't pay any attention to the images, but if he hears a dog bark on the show, he cocks his head to figure out where it is coming from. In reality I would never buy a channel specifically for him. I think it is far better to actually walk him once or twice a day getting both of us some exercise and let him wander the yard whenever he wants. For him and I imagine many other canines, its almost all about smell. He can smell a rat in a tree at night, smell. At first when he would be barking at 10 at night, I'd be thinking, what. Then I get a flashlight and sure enough a pair of beady eyes would look back at me 10 feet up in the tree. Its nothing short of amazing.

  • ...will probably be better than most network / basic-cable shows.
  • I'm sure it's a lovely idea until you come back home and your TV has become an interactive chewing tool...

  • This is probably bundled in with other important stuff like MTV and Ice Road Truckers 35. Exactly the reason I decided to cut the cable (or the satellite etc.)
  • ....and I really, really DO NOT want him to react to animals on the television. It's bad enough when he reacts to some dogs out the window, I'm afraid he'd destroy my television if he saw a squirrel, duck or rabbit on TV.

  • he doesn't watch the TV in the living room, which is an older 60hz model. It might as well be a piece of stone, he doesn't acknowledge its existence.

    However in the bedroom is a new 240hz LG LED with "tru motion". He frequently runs up to it and barks at it whenever he sees other dogs or people wearing dark-colored clothing.

    He's a 1 year old chihuahua btw

  • by Hartree (191324)

    So, you're saying you want our dogs to be as zoned out and slack jawed as our kids?

  • ...but last time I looked, my dog, cute as she is, has no disposable income.

  • >human's flicker fusion frequency is only 55 Hz

    No it is not, guess what is the frame rate of PAL. Nice touch linking to wikipedia as if linked article corroborates your bullshit (it doesnt).

    Modern LCD TVs DO NOT FLICKER. Picture stays on the screen until next frame comes, there is no fade out and sudden flash.

  • Has anyone noticed there is NOTHING ON this summer? What the hell !!??!!

  • OK, so I'm a dog owner, and I spoil the hell out of my dogs. So much so that I spend my lunch break at home, walking them, then wolf down food. I buy super-premium dog food (hint: they need less, so there's less mess and it lasts longer). I have shelves of my pantry dedicated to treats. There's more room for the dogs on the sofa than for me and my wife. And I'd never even think that having my dogs watch TV is a good idea. Besides, they're constantly entertained laying on the ottoman by the window, barking a

  • by Livius (318358)

    I swear when I looked it said "Stephen Colbert reports"....

  • ...didn't turn out so well:

    www.simonscat.com/Films/Screen-Grab/

"Regardless of the legal speed limit, your Buick must be operated at speeds faster than 85 MPH (140kph)." -- 1987 Buick Grand National owners manual.

Working...