Friday, June 12, 2009

Signing off...

Today is the day that television technology we've known since the 1939 RCA broadcast from the New York World's Fair becomes obsolete, and is completely replaced by digital television.

The huge bandwidth-hogging, fire-breathing analog transmitters will be turned off for the last time, replaced by lower-powered, more precisely and narrowly tuned ones utilizing a completely different technology and broadcast band. The old band will now be taken over by wireless mobile telephones, etc.

My first memories of television were the commercials. As a toddler, I would mentally drift through the actual shows, but when the commercials came on, I'd sit down and attentively watch. Grayson does the same thing today.

The first big television event I remember watching was the moon landing in July 1969. My grandparents had the volume turned way up and we were all staring, mesmerized. I remember it as if it were yesterday.

I think we've heard so much about this day, we've become desensitized to it. But what if someday, all radios just went "dark"... and only HD and satellite radio remained? Or, if gasoline powered vehicles just disappeared and we had to replace them with electric ones.

Goodbye snowy picture, see you later interference lines. No more rabbit ears with aluminum foil. Even though I've been completely digital for probably 9 or 10 years, it's still a bittersweet day.

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