Today I was following an SUV with four LCDs embedded in the head rests. While I was watching Finding Nemo on one of the screens, the driver slammed on the brakes and swerved into the parking lot for Pizza Hut. LCDs and Pizza Huts don't have much in common, but they reminded me of this older news time.
Pizza Huts offer TV by the slice
AP Report in The Pantagraph (Bloomington, IL; July 9, 1991)
CHICAGO (AP) - Roll into a restaurant booth, order a pizza and drop a few coins in a booth-side television set to view some sports or rock videos.
A coin-operated TV set has been developed by a suburban Rolling Meadows company and is being test-marketed at four suburban pizza parlors.
The sets display specially condensed and edited videotapes of sports, music, cartoons and comedy and are being tested at Pizza Huts in Lombard, Elk Grove Village, Northridge and Aurora.
So far, the biggest enthusiasts seem to be children.
"Parents will put in a dollar for cartoons to keep their kids quiet. Teen-agers put in a couple of quarters for rock. Adults may put in a quarter for a look at `Candid Camera,' but that's it," said Daniel Slater, head of Wessex Inc., which is developing the televisions-in-booths system.
It's not cheap - equipping a 25-booth restaurant costs about $25,000, including a control center in the back room.
But Slater hopes to reduce the cost of his Entertainment Vision considerably by mass producing the units.
The system still has some bugs.
Diners have complained that 5-inch screens are too small, so the screens are being increased to 8 inches. Customer-controlled volume dials are being added, too.
Programming also is being revised.
"We tried great moments in sports, but it was the least popular and we are changing it," Slater said. "We're doing a lot of experimentation to see what works. Some (videos) may work well in one restaurant but not in others. Tastes also vary from region to region."
I wonder when every pizza box will have a VOD voucher imprinted so that you truly get dinner and a movie when you get pizza delivered? The cross-promotions would be endless.