Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Don't Touch That Dial
My third brother was about three years old. He had a morning routine. After the rest of us went to school he was given a penny. Mom watched him walk up to the corner and the woman in the store watched him walk the rest of the way to the store where he bought a piece of candy. Then she watched him to the corner and Mom watched him the rest of the way home.
Once at home my brother would watch the morning children's programs. This was his morning ritual every day.
One morning he hurriedly told my mother to turn the television off because he had to go to the bathroom. He did not want to miss anything so he would have her turn it back on when he was ready.
Mom thought it was hilarious. But when you think about it, it makes perfect sense to a three-year-old. If the TV is not on neither is the program.
Now that happened in the middle 1950's. The town we lived in had 1, count it, 1 television channel available. It was a combination of the three networks. Whatever programs the heads of the station chose were what we watched.
Many years passed. We had a new way to watch movies on television. VCR's had been invented. You hooked the machine up to the television. Then you chose the movie you wished to see. There was a cartridge you injected into the machine. After a bit of fiddling with buttons you could watch the movie in the luxury of your own home.
VCR's were so simple a child could operate them. My nephew enjoyed watching movies. Unfortunately he was also a mischievous child. My sister had to invest in a new DVD machine after my nephew inserted a Hershey bar and then a cartridge.
Then came the DVD player. Instead of those bulky cartridges you had a flat disc to insert into the machine attached to your television. The discs were not going to stick in the machine. They were also much easier to store. They took up so much less space.
Someone came up with the idea to store programs seen on television. If you were not at home when your favorite program came on you could program your DVR to save it for you to watch at your leisure.
Or what if there were two programs on at the same time and they were both important to you? You could watch one and record one to watch later. Perhaps you could not be at home. Record them both for later. Progress is a wonderful thing.
Now I have a DVR that will allow for 5 programs at the same time! Imagine that. There are three televisions in my home. One in the living room, one in my room, and one in my son's room. Each TV in bedrooms is connected to the main DVR in the living room.
I can watch programs that I have saved in my room before I go to sleep. If I see something I would like to record for another time I can issue the order from my room.
I can search for my favorite actors or an upcoming program to set a recording so I do not forget about it. I can even set series recordings for programs that I watch weekly or daily. There are even programs like baseball that are seasonal. If I set a series recording for my favorite team the games will begin recording when the new season begins. I do not have to reset the series recordings.
Technology makes all this possible. And it is such a frivolous thing. If I were to miss an episode of my favorite soap opera I would survive. If I miss one baseball game out of the season I would probably live. But I do not have to.
If all this is possible just think what else can be done. Most of these improvements were not even imagined once. Now we realize that if we can imagine something we can make it so. Marvelous.