The end of an era

TV in the US goes digital today.

As someone who has seen firsthand the magic that the Digital Revolution has brought us, I know that this is a Good Thing(tm). As a card-carrying Paleotechnologist (not to mention child of the 70’s), though, I can’t help feeling a little nostalgic for good old analog TV.

TV was simpler then — in Northern Virginia, our TV choices were channels 4, 5, 7, 9, 20, and 26 (plus some UHF channels if we aimed the antenna just right and occasionally channel 3 from Richmond if we aimed the antenna right *and* the moon was in the seventh house yadda yadda.)

Not better, mind you — just simpler. Paleotechnologist or no, I still wouldn’t give up our age of TiVo, YouTube, Hulu, DVDs, and flat-panel screens — even if the 70s did have better music.

Loran is probably next. They already did away with Omega, and with the Galileo navigation system coming online, there will be an alternative to GPS.

At least we technological dinosaurs will have our memories — from watching Sesame Street on a 1975 Ford TV (which I still have and which still works!), to navigating from Norfolk to Milwaukee and back with a Compaq Plus suitcase computer and a Loran-C receiver (GPS was for rich folks back then.)

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2 Responses to The end of an era

  1. Dosquatch says:

    All potential for "enhanced services" aside, I mourn the switch because analog transmission is more resilient. The downfall of digital is that it does not fail gracefully – while it pushes the boundaries for full-quality outwards, the boundaries for usable reception shrink dramatically, so my snowy reception is gone to be replaced by a completely useless digital stutter and duplo-block pixellated picture.

  2. M. Eric Carr says:

    I know what you mean. It's bad even in North Philly, as urban as it is.

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