Video services

TV: A Silent Killer?

Consider this story of a sad ending for a Long Island, N.Y. man. Newsday reports that:

Southampton police responding to burst water pipes in a Hampton Bays home found the mummified body of the owner -- dead for more than a year -- sitting in a chair in front of a television, officials said Friday. The television was still on.

According to the Suffolk County deputy chief medical examiner, the man died of "natural causes." Maybe. But concerned observers can't help but wonder: Could television be the culprit? If not, does this case demonstrate TV's efficacy as a preservative? Unfortunately, the report did not mention whether the man was watching cable TV, satellite, broadcast, or Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s FiOS TV service.

At minimum, television may be indicted for contributory negligence. According to the report: "Neighbors said they hadn't seen [the man] for a while." Maybe they were too busy watching VOD.

Note to concerned citizens: Put down the remote control, get off the couch, take a walk around the neighborhood, and say hello to your fellow humans.

— Michael Harris, Chief Analyst, Cable Digital News

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