Friday, June 12, 2009

Goodbye Analog TV

Today is the day that traditional analog television transmisssion ceases forever. This may not be a big deal to many readers of this blog, as you likely have had cable TV for most of your life. But for me, it's a big deal.

I was born in 1974, but cable TV wasn't available in my neighborhood until 1987, and even then my family only had it in the living room and basement; rabbit ears were the norm for my bedroom TV. Therefore, I well remember what it was like to deal with static, fuzzy pictures, and foil wrapped around the antenna. As much as a pain as those things could be, I'm gonna miss it a little bit.

Of course, over-the-air TV transmission isn't going away, it's just changing, presumably for the better. Still, it's the end of an era for a medium that permeates my very DNA. I can't help but be a bit wistful.

Here is a not-quite-accurate recreation of something that almost never happens in this 24/7 world: a broadcast station sign-off; in this case, from Philadelphia station WPVI, Channel 6. I post it here as a symbolic sign off of analog TV transmission throughout the country. Goodbye, analog TV! I will miss you, but I will never forget you. Rest in peace.



2 comments:

Todd Mason said...

Well, it's a change. Limited signal penetration, more and different sorts of signal interference, the litter of old sets (much like the litter of old monitors, only perhaps moreso--though presumably Canadians and Mexicans might at least temporarily might like our old analog sets)...we'll see. Meanwhile, as I've pointed out elsewhere, the opening lines of Willam Gibson's NEUROMANCER, about how the sky looked like the grey of a tv tuned to dead channel...well, I guess it still will mean something in Analog Land, including Gibson's Canada, for now...

Todd Mason said...

Also, notable that Channels 6, including WPVI (Philadelphia Six, as the call letters suggest), are thus no longer audible on the FM band at 87.7...

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