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Requiem for a Boob Tube

Here's something for the old-timers:  remember when you turned on a television and it had to warm up before the picture turned on? 

I had plenty of televisions where that was an issue.  Including many that were black and white.  My grandmother had one of those furniture-style pieces that instantly took you back to the 50's when you turned it on.  At home, I can recall fondly those mornings when I would turn on old reruns of Fury to eat my cereal before going back to school.  And on Sunday mornings, I remember a block of television programming on Channel 4 including Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, Superman, the East Side Boys, and something else.  Wrestling was also playing those mornings.

Back in those days, it wasn't uncommon to watch television in black and white.  And even over the years, B&W TV's were common as under-the-counter appliances, miniature televisions, and cheap sets for the basement.  Why, I remember back in the day we used to have to actually stand up and walk to the television to get it to change channels.  

Well the times, they are a changing, aren't they? 

Here are a few things I'm going to miss about the boob tube when we bury the cathode ray tube a few short weeks from now:  the feeling of manually dialing stations (and being told I'll break the dial); two separate tuning dials, UHF and VHF, rabbit ears, snow; and ghost images (an impossibility in the digital realm).  Alas, the boob tube is being replaced with something more expensive, with higher resolution, and more high-tech. 

But is it better?  It is very cool that more channels are popping up than on regular airwaves.  In some ways, that makes it more democratic.  In Milwaukee, there are over 25 digital channels alone.  With dedicated weather and traffic channels, as well as a plethora of public television offerings, digital television channels best any basic cable package.  And I can watch any of those channels on my computer right now.  Plus my computer software includes a free, built-in dvr. The one thing I think is silly is paying a monthly fee for the mere privilege of recording shows.  GOTCHA SUCKERS!  

I guess that the quality of the product that we're getting is better, but I just wish that we'd get some good shows along with that.  

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