With more and more frequency (pun intended) restaurants are instaling televisions within the dining space which I believe the purpose is to enhance the dining experience of the customer. Perhaps, this purpose is a more successful for venues such as, bars or lounges; however, this amenity is less successful in the main dining area.
Televisions are common place within the public space, these days even gas pumps have TV monitors and there is even a billboard along the freeway that is a large TV. I find my senses being over inundated with sounds and images to the point when I find it difficult to filter the information for the bits that I might find interest. I found that I exert less effort just ignoring this type "pollution" than trying to extract some benefit from the messages that for the most part are just useless streaming chatter.
And so, when I walk into a restaurant and see walls plastered with flatscreen televisions I already have a negative impression of the ambiance of the establishment; loud TVs, louden costumers attempting to talk over the TVs, and employees pausing from their work to gaze at a monitor (I was once ignored by a Host who waited to acknowledge my presense until the stream he was watching had ended!).
OK, so what do I want in my perfect world? I want to focus on enjoying my meal, I want to spend time communicating with my dining partner in an environment that doesn't overload my visual and audio senses and for the most part doesn't distract my attention from the person I'm dining with. I don't expect restaurants to be noiseless. And furthermore, I anticipate my oberservation not to be of the consensus. But I think what needs to be considered is how this technology of streaming digital sound bites is a distraction for a customer's frame of mind to pleasant dining experience.