Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cultural Shift - TVs

I grew up in the seventies and eighties. Even then there had been a large cultural shift in technology. Since then there has been another shift.

By then everybody had a color television set. Some people still had a black and white TV as an extra TV but the main set was color. A lot of people had a second TV – some even had mini-portable TVs – with a tiny 1”-3” screen. A few people had old projection TVs - but they were bulky and not very good quality.
Now some people don't even have a TV - they have a media center monitor which doubles as their computer screen. They can also watch video on a portable device with a great picture. Large TVs now take up a lot less room and have a great picture.

When a TV program was on you either had to watch it then or wait for it to play again in reruns during the summer. Then VCRs came out and you were able to tape a program to watch again later. Originally the tapes were very expensive and you had to erase them to use again. Recorded programs (movies, etc) were crazy expensive - $100 a tape when they came out. These prices soon dropped to about $30 a tape.
Now you can download programs and watch what you want, when you want. PVRs allow you to record programs and watch and delete shows at your whim. DVDs are out for about $25 when they first come out - but quickly drop in price until they hit the $5 bins. Many TV series have been released on to DVD, and quickly too - so you can catch any shows that you missed.

Video cameras came out - huge at first (you had to carry the camera and a VCR) and then more portable. This allowed you to record other things and make your own movies. This was much more accessible than the old Super 8 film cameras that were out before – you could see things right away instead of having to send in the film to get processed.
Now most cameras and even cell phones will record video. Camcorders have come down in size and price. Instead of fussing with dubbing tapes, most are able to connect to a DVD recorder or computer and copy onto DVDs. Some cameras even record directly on to digital media – SD cards or mini-discs.

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