Is watching on TV better than being there?

22 Aug 2011


Big events now look better on television than ever before. Forget about shaky pictures and poor quality sound, we're now dealing with interactive features, high definition broadcasting and even 3D coverage.

Would you prefer to see Beyonce on TV or go to Glastonbury?

In fact, the entertainment delivered to our homes is now so good it begs the question - Is watching on TV better than being there?

Music festivals are intensely sweaty affairs and more often than not, you end up caked in mud. Not if you're watching from the comfort of your sofa though.

I enjoyed Glastonbury this year just fine, even though I was hundreds of miles away. For starters, I got a great position in the front row for every act and I particularly enjoyed Beyonce in HD. But listening to Coldplay perform on the Saturday night in stereo sound was probably the highlight.

Interactive TV is undoubtedly the biggest benefit of watching a music festival at home. Flicking between stages comes at the touch of a button rather than traipsing across a muddy field. Perfect if you don't always agree with the Eavis experiments…

Sport in your home

Sports fans with a satellite subscription could find themselves spoilt for choice on a Sunday afternoon. Football, cricket and rugby could all be on air at once, plus you can throw in F1 on the BBC for a staggering choice of big events.

It's hard to know which one to choose, but you can always change channel if one match gets boring, or record the lot to enjoy over the following week.

What you get at home that you don't get in the stadium is action replays. If you didn't quite see how Rooney connected with the overhead kick then you'll get a chance to take another look at it. Watching F1 on television allows you to monitor the whole race and not just one section of the track.


But you do miss out on the big match atmosphere, or the roar of a car as it screams past you. And no matter how loud you cheer, your team are unlikely to hear your encouraging sounds if you're 200 miles from the ground.

However, it's probably best to leave the drama you might see on EastEnders to the actors. Nobody wants to be actually sitting in the Queen Vic when drinks are being thrown about and fists begin to fly.

It's much better to enjoy that particular action scaled down to a 32 inch TV from the safety of your own sofa.

Do you think watching on television is better than being at the event? Comment below or tweet @DixonsInTheKnow