Sounding Out Small Screens and Telepresence

Cheryl C. Bracken, Cleveland State University
Gary Pettey, Cleveland State University
Trupti Guha
Bridget E. Rubenking


The number of small and mobile screens being used for entertainment is growing daily. This paper presents the findings of the impact of smaller video format (specifically the Apple iPod), media content, and sound delivery on audience responses. The 2 × 2 × 2 experimental design varied screen size, content, and sound delivery. Participants were exposed to one of two presentations either on an iPod or on a 32 inch (81.2 centimeters) television with sound being supplied by either speakers or a headset. Participants saw either a 10-minute fast-paced (multiple cut) action sequence or a 10-minute slow-paced (long cut) conversation sequence from a feature length motion picture. The effects of differences in immersion, spatial presence, and social realism were measured. Screen size impacted reported sensations of spatial presence with subjects who viewed larger screens reporting higher levels. Subjects with headphone delivery reported higher levels of immersion than subjects with speaker delivery. Furthermore, several interactions between screen size, content pace, and sound delivery were found.