Like Renaissance explorers, Information-Age explorers need a tool to navigate TV’s treacherous waters. That tool is Smart TV.

We are launching a new magazine called Smart TV.

On the surface, it seems to have nothing to do with Videomaker, but Smart TV shares our company’s mission statement “to democratize and enrich television.” Videomaker does this by recruiting more people to make better video programs, which wind up on (at least some) TVs, which helps achieve our mission. Our new magazine is not for the creator of TV programs; rather, it is for the consumer of TV programs and other types of content.

At the beginning of one of the last songs that John Lennon wrote, he whispers an ancient Chinese proverb that describes women as “the other half of the sky.” That’s what Smart TV is to our mission statement. I invite you to join us and subscribe to the magazine. Our goal is to change the way the world thinks about television and I want to enlist your help. Please tell everyone that you know that has a TV that there is hope, and that Smart TV expresses that hope.

Smart TV is the magazine for discriminating viewers who want more out of television. They are looking for more choices, a more fulfilling television experience, and more control over the boob tube. They believe that the TVs output (programs and other information) has a significant impact on their lives. They are seeking expert opinions on the type of information they can get from their TVs. They are willing to purchase, install and use selection devices and Internet devices for the TV, which include VCRs with one-button programming, interactive CD players and parental controls (TV time and content managers).

Smart TV helps readers to anchor themselves in a storm of information. It is about the nutrition of the mind, mental fitness and our TV diet. In an abstract sense, Smart TV is about couch potatoes growing eyes, a new way of thinking about the time that we spend on our couches. We help readers convert some of their couch time into self-development time. Smart TV readers are channel searchers, pursuing specific information that will lead to enrichment, not channel surfers, who seek only to escape to an unknown destination.

In the pages of the magazine, we cover the next frontier of information about information: whos in charge of it and why. The V-chip (violence chip) ushers in the dawning of a new era where all TV programs carry a tag or a header file; where experts label and software evaluates our TV info before it is granted permission to appear in our living rooms. Smart TV teaches readers how to deal with these tags and software agents. We even rate the experts that rate TV shows, Web sites and CDs.

We cover the firestorm of new technology that consumers will adopt more completely and swiftly than the VCR. Millions of people will be purchasing electronic products that help them see more stuff (the right stuff for them) on their TVs. Features like one-button programming and on-screen TV schedules allow users to download specific TV shows automatically by converting their VCRs into video mailboxes. Smart TV covers compact-disc spinners, including CD-ROM, CD-I and the latest information format, DVD (digital versatile disk). DVD will revolutionize the way we handle media because it contains music (like a CD), video (like a video cassette) and interactive programs (like a CD-ROM). Still another category of new hardware and software will emerge with the technology to convert your TV into an Internet node, bringing e-mail, newsgroups and the World Wide Web to your television screens.

What this all means is that the much-anticipated interactive TV has finally arrived in real life. Well be making buying decisions with a remote control and seeing pictures of the grandkids linked to their e-mail messages on our television screens. But Smart TV is not only about what we connect to our TVs, but why.

Smart TV helps readers manage their TV time. We know that soccer moms want their kids to get better grades by accessing the Internet instead of Beavis and Butthead. Some readers are concerned about improving their parenting skills in a world where we are not really certain about what our kids are watching. Smart TV readers are interested in filtering out programs and web sites that do not enhance their lives. Well cover interactive CDs, TV programs and World Wide Web sites with an emphasis on edu-tainment and education, leaving entertainment for other experts in the magazine industry.

Smart TV is all about selectivity and specificity. Smart TV helps viewers become navigators by providing the map and compass for the information superhighway, selecting the things that are most rewarding and appealing in their own individual and unique lives. We encourage readers to be discriminating with their attention and where they invest it. They know that "a mind is a terrible thing to waste," especially in front of a big-screen TV with a remote in one hand. We encourage searching instead of surfing. Its about navigating in front of your TV, which has become our dashboard on the information superhighway.

Smart TV is not simply about more pixels, bits, fidelity, resolution and channels. We want to help our readers realize that no one ever taught them how to watch television. They understand that they need to grow intellectually or be left behind. In an era where things like the Internet happen so quickly, we all question our ability to keep up. They are realizing and admitting that they are capable of better handling their TV time.

Smart TV is not for techies; we are not a gear magazine. Its like a decaffeinated Wired, which everyone who wants to take control of the technology in their homes can understand.

Most importantly, Smart TV is about the future, which just arrived while we were busy doing other things.

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