I’ve written about the increased use of LCD monitors in Shenzhen’s public transportation before with my posts Cab Advertising and Shenzhen TV is also talking about Melissa Theuriau. In the past couple of days, I’ve noted a couple of things regarding these LCDs in taxis and buses.
- LCDs only come on when a customer enters and the price meter is started. This means that now it doesn't annoy the hell out of the driver during the entire day, looped to the same stuff.
- The LCD content for viewing is very eclectic. There are very few commercials, current events and information about the city (as I would have expected). Instead, a huge amount of its content are funny cartoons, British hidden-camera shows and music videos.
- The mute button has been upgraded. Before, a passenger could mute the display so that he/she didn't need to listen to the programming. Now, the mute only works for one segment only. After the segment is over, the sound comes back on automatically. I’ve had to hit the mute switch 10 times on some of my taxi trips.
- There are about 2 LCDs on each bus, one right behind the driver and one right behind the back door.
- The LCD display and content is linked to the bus’s audio speaker system. This means that it can be projected throughout the bus so that all customers can hear. It also means that when announcements are made on the intercom regarding stops, safety, ect., it is projected instead of the music video.
- The content is just as random and diverse as in the taxis. I’ve seen funny stuff, serious stuff and news.
The coolest part about the bus LCDs is that it can tune into live TV. Chinese news broadcast is the same everyday. The CCTV national news comes on at 7pm followed by the Shenzhen local news broadcast at 7:30. On a recent trip to my friend Jason’s house in Shekou, I was able to watch both shows live on the bus. How cool is that? I’ve seen it only a couple of times in different people’s cars. It’s supposedly done through satellite or wireless technology, but the quality is perfect. This is such a conveneient feature for the fast-paced Shenzhen life.