Friday, May 09, 2008

I Am Perfectly Happy with the Old Analog TV !

I Was/Am Perfectly Happy with the Old Analog TV Video!

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I witnessed the advent of TV into homes in America.

First there was the “big screen” 7 inch black and white.


Raised just across the state line from Charlotte NC, I was in a "pioneering" TV market. WBT-TV. in Charlotte, which was channel 3 in those days, broadcast a black and white picture which we could get with a huge outside antenna mounted on the chimney or some other suitably lofty erection. (Maybe a used telephone pole.)

I was raised in hill country. Not the mountains, mine you, but the piedmont, the foot hills, and there are steep hills and deep hollows in my home territory. So, there were some places, if one wished to make a desperate try at receiving a TV signal one had to erect a telephone pole or some other type of tower to get the antenna high enough to receive that signal from WBT-TV.

It was grand! The screen was so small you nearly had to close one eye to watch it! But watch it we did!

I remember the "Pabst Blue Ribbon Bouts". They were televised boxing matches. I became a boxing fan at an early age and remained so until it became more an exhibition, in my opinion, than a contest.

And then the really BIG TV’s came out! We bought a 14-inch black and white Tele King TV in a “Blonde” wood cabinet. The cabinet was a tad smaller than a Volkswagen Beetle, and looked even bigger with that, by today’s standards, tiny TV screen in the middle of it.

The picture was awful! Truly awful! It was blurry; it had “snow” on it. The horizontal hold worked sometimes… as did the vertical hold. Sometimes you would get double images, or “ghosting”, due to the antenna receiving two signals … one direct from the station and, on the backside of the antenna, it would receive the same signal a second time as it was bounced off one of our nearby hills. As I said, reception was awful.

Then the REALLY giant screen TV’s came out. A whole 17 inches (measured diagonally corner to corner). The picture was still awful but, damn, it WAS BIGGER! But it was still in black and white.

Then came color, and 21, 25, 28 and 30 inch screens and eventually the LCD and plasma screens… some a full five feet across, etc.

So now the government wants to force TV viewers in America to watch TV in digital imagery and even High Definition. Actually, it is a fate accompli. All TV broadcasts within the US, as of next February, will be digital in High Definition. Gee whiz! We get to see the pores in the skin of the personalities on TV! Hot dang!

Look, I could care less about the pores in that gorgeous Fox News Anchor’s skin! Actually, I’d rather NOT see ‘em!

Point is… I was perfectly happy with the quality of the TV image I was already receiving on my old analog set. But, nobody asked me! I’ll bet you weren’t asked, either! Why?Because… had the American people been queried about switching to digital TV, they would have vetoed it! But the FCC doesn’t have to ask you. They don't have to! It is one of those government agencies, that can issue regulations, which have "the force of law". There’s not a darn thing you, or I, can do about it.

Now, I learned today, from an article in the Los Angeles Times, that the TV stations serving my market will be switching over to HiDef digital this coming September instead of next February. We have been chosen as a “test” market by the FCC.

Read the article here:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-digital8-2008may08,0,4108007.story

I already have a cable digibox on one TV which converts the digital cable signal to analog so I can still use one of my analog TV’s. I’m planning on waiting until the market is nearly saturated with digital TV’s and then we’ll purchase one, or more. By that time the prices will have fallen significantly. In fact we plan on purchasing only a digital (standard digital) TV rather than a High Definition TV. (You do not HAVE to buy a High Definition TV to receive the Digital signal after February. You WILL need a digital TV, however. The digital TV’s are not nearly as expensive as the Hi-Def TV’s. I saw a standard digital TV the other day with a 25, or 30 inch, screen for 150 bucks.)


So what is the FCC going to do with the standard FM band TV has broadcast those 13 channels over for all those years? Oh, not to worry. You can bet they have devised a way to split it into multiple bands and will be selling, or auctioning, it off to make more money for Uncle Sam. In the meantime, you and I will have to make more money for something we didn’t want in the first place!

I swear, if we don’t keep, a sharp eye on them, before you know it, they’ll make us get rid of our incandescent light bulbs and replace them with the less efficient fluorescent bulbs. Now wouldn’t that be something?

Longstreet




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5 comments:

Frank said...

Well sir digital does not equal high definition. Ther are SD (Standard Definition) digital channels. I get DirecTV adn my locals via Satellite. I have a roof mounted antenna with a Rotar for "bad Weather days". I got my coupns and bought converters and I tell you it is crystal clear. I am located dead center between Pittsburgh and Cleveland and Clevland locals come in as clear as my local market. Trust me sir, once you make the switch you won't look back. Kindof like when I got my first TiVo unit. I just wanted to see what all the hype was... Well sir it was the single greatest piece of equipment I bought. I do not have to watch what they want when they want. I am free t live my life and catch BSG or DR. Who any time I want. I don't have to be in the house at 6:00 to watch Amy Goodman, I can catch Democracy now after a shower and shave. But back on point, you can actually get 4 channels where only 1 exists now. For example PBS has 2 channels in my area, my ABC affiliate carries ABC on one, My TV on another and a 24 hour local weather feed, Radar and warnings etc. and CBS caries CBS and fox, and NBC has NBC and WB all in the same "bandwith" as the old channel. Low powered station do not have to make the upgrade, as the cost could be pohibitive to a smaller station adn they serve a public interest that should not go dark.

Longstreet said...

You are absolutely correct. Standard Digital is NOT High Definition. But it is good enough for me. I cannot justify paying the outrageous prices for HiDef when I am already used to standard digital, on my computer monitor, and I am perfectly happy with the quality of the picture I receive on my old analog set. Actually, if digital had been made optional, I would not even subscribe to it.

Frank said...

Just to be clear I do not have HD.... If I were a rich republican I could afford it, but digital is alot clearer than analog.

Wha Wadna Fecht for Charlie said...

“Look, I couldn't care less about the pores in that gorgeous Fox News Anchor’s skin.”
But they are very nice pores!

Off topic, but you blog is blocked in mainland europe. Most of your graphics don’t appear and it is impossible to post comments. Perhaps you are telling the truth.

Longstreet said...

"... but you blog is blocked in mainland europe. Most of your graphics don’t appear and it is impossible to post comments. Perhaps you are telling the truth."
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Thanks for the info, Charlie! I'll have to figure out a way to use that in a blog promotion!

Good to hear from you.

Longstreet