Theory and research presented in a special issue of Interacting with Computers (Vol 14) on affective-computing is concerned with the way in which computer interfaces could be better designed to meet emotional needs. This commentary on the special issue suggests that traditional media, such as film and television, may also meet some emotional needs and further proposes that the concept of presence (the subjective sense of 'being there' in a mediated environment) has some explanatory power when considering emotional responses to media. In particular, it is argued that advanced broadcast systems (e.g. interactive and immersive television) may provide increased opportunities for affective-computing and experiences of presence in the home. Applications of research in both fields could be used to improve and extend the use of advanced broadcast systems and other media in that techniques used to enhance presence and improve human-computer interactions may be used to address emotional needs in novel ways using familiar media. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.