History of TV watching and the remote control
Hailing from the deep 1970s, I well recall the first ever remote control television and just what a whole new area of wonder and joy it was, around at my then-friends house. As I remember the friend in question was into the one up manship game, ours is better than yours, etc etc. I just had to come and see their big new remote controlled television, a 30 inch set that back in 1973 cost a small fortune.
Struth you didn't even have to get up to change channels and you could irritate everybody in the room by secretly fiddling with the brightness, what joy. The first remotes used ultrasonic sound, that were soon replaced by today's infrared system. Ultrasonic sound that sent the dog in to a state of madness if you happened to let it wander in their direction.
Now who didn't torment the dog with their new toy!
My family didn't end up with a remote control television, or colour television for that matter until the mid seventies, at first I wouldn't watch colour, except with colour turned down or in other words black and white.
All my first TV watching experiences were in black and white, doctor who in colour it just wasn't on., those loud garish colours!
Even now in 2010 there are some who will not watch a colour picture, unless that is with the colour turned down! Now few and far between, tending to be at the upper end of the age range, ie 80 plus!
Being a forty something, I can recall the days of a test card greeting you when clicked the television on during the day, with shutdown at around midnight, after news at ten.
This really did round off the evening and forced you to go to bed., but sure enough along came day time telly, now a by word for dreary rubbish watched, by the elderly and unemployed.
Today's bewildering array of channels from various sources, sky, cable Freeview, Freesat, leads us to believe that we must have every channel going, of course working all the time to pay for these channels means we are to knackered to watch any of them, arriving home and crashing out on the sofa, drifting off into a deep sleep.
Television to many is a great friend, that stands in the corner of the room telling them what is going on in the world, or peering in on fictional tales of peoples every day lives, or in other words the dreaded soap opera. Could it be that the whole of television is simply a giant soap opera, the same familiar face telling us what the weather is doing tomorrow, or a newsreader reassuring us that there is nothing to really worry about, in connection with a large bomb that just took whatever part of whatever city with it.
But I for one love that box in the corner, even with daytime telly.
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