A Television (or TV for short) refers to a large (and sometimes small) device that is used for watching shows and news and for playing video games (although they require the use of a console, like the Playstation 3, Playstation 2 and Playstation 1 in order to achieve this). In relation to the Grand Theft Auto series, the TV has long been a traditional "platform" for GTA games (although they require the use of a console in order to play them on the TV).
Televisions appear in-game in the Grand Theft Auto series although they have by large been non-interactive props (although they might be animated in cutscenes and certain missions); in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, however, televisions of various forms can be stolen from homes in the burglary side-mission. Various TV shows have also been advertised in GTA III, GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas, GTA Liberty City Stories and GTA Vice City Stories but are usually unseen. The ability to watch TV was first trialed in GTA Vice City Stories, where the player can watch mission cutscenes with the TV in The Clymenus Suite.
Televisions in Grand Theft Auto IV appear as interactive devices that allowing the player to watch television shows, although they have very little bearing to actual gameplay. Each safehouse in in GTA IV has a television, as is the case in GTA IV's episodic packs, The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony; in TLAD however, access to televisions becomes unavailable upon completion of the storyline as only one safehouse, which is disabled in the end, is the only location where a television should be available.
The design of the safehouses' televisions in both GTA IV and its episodes vary according to the condition of the safehouse. Shabby safehouses often feature olden CRT televisions which also have television channels that are purely static; more upscale housing are usually equipped with widescreen LCD/plasma televisions that are either freestanding or wall-mounted.
Each Television allows the player to watch up to three simultaneously running channels (Weazel, CNT, and the Public Broadcasting Corporation); however, the channels are not numbered, so finding a show is more or less coincidental. Most of the shows are running time-shifted, so while "I'm Rich" may be almost over on one channel, for example, it may just start on another.
The feature is carried over to its episodic titles, including The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, with new shows and advertising added in. However, depending on whether the player opted for downloading episodic DLC or obtaining Episodes from Liberty City, the availability of shows and ads from GTA IV in both episodic titles, like radio stations, varies between DLCs and Episodes from Liberty City:
- In DLCs, existing programming and advertising from GTA IV and a DLC purchased earlier will be present in the new episodic title, and vice versa.
- In EFLC, only programming and advertising from TLAD and TBOGT will be available in both episodic titles, as much of GTA IV's content is not included in the stand-alone compilation.
While there is one television for each safehouse in GTA IV, the player can only watch TV at the Lost MC Clubhouse in The Lost and Damned until "Get Lost", to which point the player has no legal means of watching television; in The Ballad of Gay Tony, one TV is available in Luis' safehouse.
- The Men's Room. (+ one more episode in TBoGT)
- Split Sides (both Ricky Gervais and Katt Williams).
- Republican Space Rangers (+ one more episode in TLAD + one more in TBoGT).
- Venturas Poker Challenge.
- Weazel News (Special report on the Motorcycle Menace) (TLAD).
CNT is a refererence to "cunt", a term for vagina.
Public Broadcasting Corporation
The Public Broadcasting Corporation is a parody of PBS, or possibly the BBC, as the latter is an acronym for British Broadcasting Corporation
- A History of Liberty City. The program comes in two parts: Part I in GTA IV, and Part II in TLAD and TBOGT.
Role in missions
GTA III Era
During the Los Santos Riots, looters can be seen running around and carrying televisions.
GTA IV Era
In the mission Friend Request, after fitting an explosive device into the prototype Lifeinvader phone, Michael De Santa has to go to his home to watch Jay Norris' live presentation. As he reveals the phone, Michael calls Jay Norris from his phone, answers it and the phone explodes to his head, killing him.
- There is a glitch in The Lost and Damned that allows you to watch the TV even after the end of the game. Take a helicopter and land on the roof of the Lost MC Clubhouse. Walk around to where the TV would be inside just under the roof, and you will be prompted to watch the TV. If you do this there is only 2 ways to get outside of the clubhouse: kill yourself, or reload an old save file. This glitch is fixed on Episodes from Liberty City.
- GTA San Andreas