Monday, February 16, 2009

On Analog TV:

I don’t know about you but I’m a little sad about the end of analog TV broadcasting in the USA.

Maybe it’s my age. Because I remember the Christmas my family got the first color TV in the neighborhood. People who I’d seen all my life and never thought of saying hello to me showed up at our door to see it for themselves. We had neighbors coming and going for over a week and every ‘Color TV Special’ had the living room full of friends.

I can still tell you that the first thing I saw on TV in color was the NBC Peacock unfurling it’s cartoon feathers full of colorful glory. I can even hear the music jingle in my head. This is not the one color per feather peacock of today. This one had two colors on each and the color on the tips was in a tear drop pattern.

I remember vacuum tubes and test patterns, little round screens and snowy static, black and white with announcers explaining what you were seeing in case you couldn’t see it well, and besides they were used to doing it from the days of only radio. You had to turn it on long before you wanted to watch so it could warm up. There were rabbit ear antennas and every station, of the few that there were, would sign off for the night with the national anthem.

It might just be the change. The change of things is a constant, but having constant things makes us feel safe.

Don’t get me wrong here. I have made the change to digital months ago. There are things I like about it and things I miss about the old way. I’ll miss being able to use my VCR to record the shows I am missing to go to my meetings. I don’t have tevo or a fast enough internet connection to see them in another way.

It is the change of an era that seems to be going un-noticed by people younger then myself that bothers me I think. The fact that they don’t appreciate just how far we have come in just my lifetime, let alone my parents.

Tomorrow I will have a moment of silence for the changing of the original Television era. It is the end of an age that I can still remember.

1 comment:

Mouse said...

For some reason (even though I am younger than you and don't actually remember a time without color tv) this is one of those weird things that does bother me...
I think about these things a lot because of having a young child. It is really strange when I think about all of the changes just from my childhood to his... and some of the things that his generation will grow up with that 'just are' (like color tv is for me)