I witnessed the advent of TV into homes in America.
First there was the “big screen” 7 inch black and white.
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:
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?