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The alternative to Picture-in-Picture

Picture In Picture is a clever idea where you can see a small window in the corner of your television screen with a different view in it - typically the view of your video recorder, so you can monitor what's going on. However, there is an alternative... Picture OUT Picture. This enables you to monitor what the video recorder is doing, but without taking up any space on the main screen.

How is this wonder of technology done? And isn't it more expensive than Picture-IN-Picture? Such questions are about to be answered...

Here's how to implement Picture-Out-Picture: In your front room / lounge, wherever you have a television and video recorder, add a small portable black & white television. These can be acquired quite cheaply and can be placed on the carpet or perched on top of the main television, wherever looks best. Next, using an extra co-ax cable and junction box, connect the portable tv up so it receives the same signal as the main tv set. Tune the portable tv to the VIDEO RECORDER CHANNEL, and leave it set to that channel.

What happens now is that the main TV continues to function as per usual, but the small portable acts as a video-recorder monitor. This means you can keep an eye on what the video recorder is doing, cue up channels to record, etc... but what's really clever about this is that no area of the main screen is taken away!

Besides this obvious advantage, of having no area of the main picture covered up by a little window that harks back to the bad old days of religion-based computer operating systems where little boxes covered up other little boxes on screens and nearly drove you round the bend until medical science discovered it was bad for your health, there is an extra advantage to Picture-OUT-Picture. Picture-Out-Picture is actually CHEAPER than Picture-IN-Picture. The cost of the extra snazziness in a main TV to create the digital wizardry of Picture-IN-Picture is more expensive than the cost of buying an additional modest portable and the extra pieces of cable etc to wire it up!

Whilst this sort of thing isn't everyone's quart of tea, it is an interesting alternative perspective on the social aspects of technology, and can be considered alongside the Chairside Video Recorder

Also see How to Make a left-right Reversing Television

Picture-out-Picture is also mentioned as an add-on for when using the 2 movies in 1 room system. You can have a picture-out-picture monitor to keep an eye on the "other channel", or if two people want to keep an eye on each other's "other channel", it's quite practical to have two picture-out-picture TV sets in addition to the main screen.

If you have a TV set like on Rollerball, with three small screens and a big main screen, you can configure it as three sets of picture-out-picture to monitor three separate auxiliary video streams at the same time as the main feature.