I grew up in a time when television was in its’ childhood. My grandparents lived in Dyer, Indiana and we lived in Lake County Indiana a virtual suburb of Chicago. My grandparents were the first in our family to purchase a television set. A small screen in an upright box all standing no more than 4 feet high. We would spend Friday nights having supper, and then watching TV, including the Friday Night Fights. I had to be in bed when the fights came on.
It wasn’t long before dad bought us a TV set. You must understand that we were in a BIG television market, we received ALL THREE stations, ABC, NBC, and CBS. Television didn’t begin until late afternoon. I can remember turning on the TV and seeing the test pattern. TEST PATTERN?? Broadcast stations transmitters used Vacuum Tubes, which required a certain temperature to remain stable, the test pattern would indicate if the tubes were warm and stable.
I best remember our second TV, a 21 inch, black and white, Zenith. The left knob controlled the Off/On and Volume. The right knob was the channel selector, channels 2-23, right behind the channel selector was a rotating dial that “fine turned” the
reception (moved the signal left or right of center). Operating this unit was quite simple, you first got off the couch and turned on the set, chose a channel and sat down on the couch. To change channels you got up, walked to the set, made your channel selection and then sat down on the couch.
It is so different today, first you have 24 hour viewing and with multiple channel choices, “getting up” isn’t feasible for anything other than popcorn. Just imagine getting up today to change the channel….channels……all 40, 83, or 120 channel choices!! The REMOTE control is king of our television universe. ( I believe there is a correlation to remote control usage to divorces. Without a doubt, the divorce rate was much less when there was only 3 channels and changing was manual; with the remote, one spouse will channel surf to the annoyance of the other, which is the beginning of the end.) I have visited friends and family, and the number of remotes is staggering. One controller each for the TV, DVD, DVR, Cable or Dish and then the home theater… I’ve grabbed one and tried to turn on the TV, couldn’t do it!! Then I learned, “well we’ve programmed all six devices on this one (what looks like) 320 button controller, to control everything”, great, but why are the other fifteen remotes still lying around on the table? Then, there’s my son who runs everything through a 1 Gig password protected homemade DVR/hard drive…I don’t even try, I just sit on the couch and wait for someone, anyone who knows what they are doing and wants to watch TV. I watch what they watch!!
A few years ago I purchased a new 15 inch color TV, replacing our black and white 13 inch for the lake cabin. The TV which came with a remote control, for my four channels, but then I purchased a DVD/VCR which came with a remote…..along came the FCC, and moved me into the digital world, now I’ve got a digital control box which came with a remote….(now I’ve got 3 remotes and 4 TV channels!!) Things went well until I decided to go fishing and my lovely wife wanted to watch TV. I REALLY felt the ice when I returned, way to many remotes! The result was a trip to the store, and I replaced two units with one new HDTV. We are back to ONLY 2 remotes (and 4 channels, at lease things are only half as complicated)…….
How many remotes to do you have……maybe the day will come when we just “think” the channel change.. 🙂
2, 4, 6, 8 what do we appreciate more remotes, more remotes!!!