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Screens and Content

At the moment, I do not offer a TV screen or any visual amusements in the rooms that are being offered on AirBNB nor in any of our common rooms. I decided years ago that we would not have a tv in our living room or bedroom.

As I put together our AirBNB suite, I decided that the types of visitors most likely to want to stay with us would not value a TV. I live in a historic urban area and assumed that my guests would be here to do things such as touring, attending seminars, speaking at symposiums, defending their dissertations, etc. During the summer months, in fact, most of my guests were out until at least the sun went down, but many stayed out even later.

I also assumed that my guests would be younger, traveling with their own screens and content. Reality has shown that I am attracting some older guests, many of whom don’t have smart phones or laptops. Seeing a lot of tablets or no electronic device at all. [Still can’t imagine that!]

As the sun is setting earlier, I am noticing that guests are arriving back at the suite earlier as well. As I imagine Boston in the winter time, I am starting to realize that guests may not want to go out at night at all when it is 20ºF and there is 3 feet of snow on the ground. Though there are over 300 books in this room, it is possible that reading random materials won’t amuse many visitors.

Finally, on another thread, quite a few people who seem reasonable otherwise, indicated that they would want a TV in any place that they rented, even if it was just to watch 15 minutes before crawling into bed. I don’t generally watch tv while on vacation, especially when I don’t know the language! Clearly, I have much to learn about how other people live their lives.

I am reconsidering my TV decision. I offer a private suite on the top floor- two rooms plus a private bath. One we call the bedroom, and in fact that is what it is. The other room we call the Living Room/Den, but it can also function as a second bedroom since it has a nice futon for sleeping. Almost 50% of our guests use the two bed option.

We do have cable coming into the house. We do not have a Netflix account and own very few DVD’s. Occasionally, my husband uses my Prime account to stream movies but I would never share that password with a stranger.

For those that would not choose a space with no TV, is a smaller TV in the living room/den with expanded cable [sports channels galore, my one pre-nup from husband- you marry me, you commit to cable for sports] and the ability to connect to an online streaming service using your own account enough? Or when you see TV = √ and cable = √, do you expect more than what I think I can offer?

I think expanded cable and the ability to connect to online streaming services is enough.

We do let our guests use our Amazon Prime acct if they wish to watch movies. You don’t have to give them your password. You just need to log into the acct on the TV, and then it’s there to use. Guests won’t be able to see your password, nor will they be able to make any changes without the password.

If I were you, I’d wait for the Black Friday deals. You’ll be able to pick up 50" flat screen for $250 or less. I honestly think a big TV like that, mounted on the wall, would add a great deal of “wow” for your guests.

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No way 50" would fit in this room! That would be just silly. The shelves will accommodate about 24-29" only. Generally, I buy things like this at Costco since the return policy can’t be beat and clearance items there are wildly affordable.

I like a TV in my accommodation.
I like to see what’s on local TV if in a foreign country, see the news/weather, relax to a movie or whatever is on.
We have 3 TV’s in our 3 bed whole house listing. Master bedroom, lounge and kitchen.
Local channels only. One has a built in DVD player.
No requests/complaints about lack of Netflix foxtel etc.
TV’s are cheap to buy and appreciated by those who’d watch it.

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I have a 24" that I could also use as a computer monitor if mine went out. It’s in a small room, so it’s large enough. I think you are making a wise decision to include one. I just had an older woman who had been driving all day and just wanted to eat her carry out and watch some TV before bed.

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It’s definitely company for some solo travellers.

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We have a TV with basic cable in the apartment. Guests don’t seem to use it often. MInd you, we’re in a tourist area with great weather year round so people are usually at the beach or sightseeing during the day and tend to go out to eat in the evening.

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I don’t offer tv. 90% of my guests have a laptop or tablet. Most are out early and back late anyway.

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Hi @smtucker,

A couple of (hopefully) vaguely relevant comments.

I currently have an elderly CRT TV (Sony Bravia) in the guest room. It’s not ideal - it’s old and over large, and doesn’t have an HDMI connection.

At some point I plan to get a wall mounted LED TV. You can get wall mounts that are quite flexible. That enables one to rotate and position the TV. See for example

Of course, a TV on a stand would be in some ways even more flexible. You could move it to different parts of the room, if the room was big enough. But mine isn’t, so that is a moot point.

If I had two rooms (I don’t have your listing pictures ready to hand) and money wasn’t an issue, I’d get aTV for each room. Depending on the size of the room, wall mounting might be a good way to go.

There’s one proviso - if I was close enough to be forced to hear the TV, then I’d be much less likely to offer it.

BTW, most of my guests don’t show much interest in using the TV here. Of course, it isn’t much to look at. But getting an LED TV also doesn’t rank highly in my feedback form.

I have an old tv and dvd player and a few DVDs people can watch. I also have a bookcase full of assorted books and games. Service here is expensive as only satellite available. I haven’t watched tv in many years, so if people want tv, they need to book elsewhere or bring laptop or iPad. I don’t offer wifi as it’s expensive and slow here due to rural location.

If you aren’t losing bookings for lack of a tv, then I don’t think you need one.

If guests are complaining in private feedback, then I would just have them confirm before booking that they understand there is no tv; however, they have wifi to watch things on their tablet, etc. Or put a note in the final instant booking message reminding them there is no tv.

I do prefer a bedroom tv. But it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t book your place at the right price. If people aren’t willing to pay more to have it, then they really don’t value it at all…and it’s just a preference.

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Well, that is a catch 20 isn’t it? People who don’t care about tv are the ones who have booked.To answer this question directly, no one has asked for a TV in my private feedback. In fact, I consistently get the answer “Nothing at all” to the question “What could Susan improve.”

I am trying to determine if the lack of screen entertainment will be an obstacle to booking during the winter months. My rate of bookings has dropped way down, but this is the time of year that I would expect to be a bit dead and I have lost my “boost.” When people wake back up around Labor Day, I am wondering if having the TV would increase interest.

Still pondering this; weighting the benefits of encouraging doers who are out and about to my home against offering a pretty standard American amenity.

I know people don’t read but what if you put in your listing that TV was available by advance request or something like that and then just wait to buy the TV until someone asked for it. That might not be convenient for you.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems unlikely to me that a TV would be a determining or even a significant factor in deciding where to stay. I watch a lot of video on my computer, but if I was travelling, I’d be quite Ok with a book (or two, or three). I like watching videos when working on my computer because it helps me relax and unfocus my eyes. But for people who are travelling and on vacation - wouldn’t they rather be out doing something?

During the winter, I suspect that I will get fewer vacationers, and far more people who are here to attend classes, seminars, conferences, etc given my proximity to Harvard, MIT, Boston University. I already have several people booked who are returning to defend their dissertations at Harvard. There may be more people here for medical reasons as well since I am so close to Mass General Hospital. The one medical group that I hosted this summer would have liked a tv, but they confirmed before they booked that I hadn’t made an error, and never mentioned it again. They all read books during the recovery period, and napped.

  1. I bought my TV wall-mounted swivel arm at Costco and put it up myself (best price around). 2. I bought my TV at Best Buy – floor model, which was quite inexpensive. I also bought the sound bar at BB, which is Blue Tooth compatible and have never had one comment about not having a CD player. 3. I get some groups that have to keep track of their sports. One even asked me if I had ESPN (I had to call the cable company to find out as I had no friggin’ idea what channels I have!).

I cater to as many people as possible, so I have both books and TV. When my daughter and I were in Italy, it was quite amusing to watch Jumanji in Italian! My daughter was not feeling well for a couple of days (probably due to dirt and poisonous ant powder everywhere in the Airbnb we fled), so having a TV for her was a good thing.

Tried to erase the “edit” but I can’t leave this blank …

I’ll give some perspective of when it would be important to me. If I was driving all day and just passing through, then yes I would like to just pick up some to go food, and go back to relax and watch tv because I am not “visiting” the area…it’s just a pit stop.

Or if I was going to Boston to attend some kind of school/work related event for a few days, and was already familiar with the area - with no desire to learn about your city…then it would be like coming home from a long day after work…and wanting to relax and watch tv.

But if I was going to visit and learn about your city (on vacation) then I would be spending as much time out and about as possible. I wouldn’t be returning by early evening. I would probably eat dinner at a local restaurant versus bringing back food. I would come home later at night, and then if I really wanted to watch something, I would use my tablet to look up shows on youtube. I am such a reality tv junkie - I could look up any season of Big Brother (so many I have never seen) and be completely entertained till bed time.

My rental has many tvs…but I rent to many families who come home early to cook dinner for the family. The kids play outside in the yard, the family may cook on the grill, etc. Even if the group is just made of two couples - the guys may be watching the game on the big screen in the basement, while the ladies are chatting upstairs and preparing dinner - and they have a nice view of the living room tv, from the kitchen. And they are all usually drinking wine and beer, and don’t have to be concerned with drinking and driving.

FYI, posts on this forum are editable indefinitely. The software is Discourse.

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How do I copy and paste a section from a previous comment to my reply box? You all seem to do that a lot and it really helps when reading through so I don’t have to back-track.

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