New TV Season Highlights Changes from Old B&w Sets

Article excerpt

Byline: Anne Sponholtz

I have a 90-year-old aunt who not long ago switched from cable TV to satellite. I asked her if she ever, in her wildest imagination, thought the day would come when she would be sitting in her living room, watching TV from a signal beamed to her television set from outer space. I, too, find that concept rather mind boggling.

I can remember our first television set. It was black and white and likely a 9- or 12-inch screen. Watching television took a lot of patience. The picture often rolled horizontally or vertically, so you spent a good deal of time adjusting the knobs and trying to get the picture to stop rolling. Rabbit ears were moved around for a clearer signal, but at its best the picture was still fuzzy. Rabbit ears came up recently in a conversation with my 6-year-old grandson, and he thought that was about the funniest term he had ever heard.

By the time the picture was adjusted, the program was almost over or the picture would again start flipping. Changing channels or turning the volume up and down also required a trip to the television set. No couch potatoes in those days.

Today folks can watch television on big screen, digital TVs, while stretched out on the sofa, with remote in hand flipping through 690 channels. We don't even have to get up from the sofa to look for the television guide. Just a touch of a button on the remote, and there it is on the television, a fact that was made most notable recently when The Florida Times-Union decided to no longer include its guide in home delivered papers, unless readers made a special request for it. …

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