Past VISION of the TELE

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Last night I sat on my couch casually watching several shows at once, clicking pause to get a drink and rewinding when I missed something. Hundreds of channels with hundreds of shows stared at me from my TV but I got bored with the choice ( spoilt I know) and went to my room to catch up on Big Brother on my laptop.

My Dad is just as tuned into the digital world as myself but speaking to him about what television was like when he was my age opened my somewhat square eyes.

My Dad’s TV experience: ‘As far back I can remember we had a black and white TV in the lounge room and I would watch children’s shows occasionally. Even when it became colour there was only 3 or 4 channels which from recollection were BBC1, BBC2 and ITV and there was rarely any live broadcasts or american shows. I’ll never forget when I was about 12 going to my grandmothers and finding out that she had a remote. It was just a black box with one button that clicked every time you pressed it but it was state of the art for the times. No more getting up out of our seats and having to use the turn dial to change the channel or volume when we visited!

VCR’s came out when I was bout 18 but the cinema was still the most popular way to socially watch movies. I do remember how popular Top of the Pops was though, it was the only music show in the UK and every week everyone would watch and talk about it. 

So how late were you up watching ridiculous american shows last night? because television when I was your age didn’t exist at night! After the late news a test card, which was usually a picture of a girl would come on and music played until television started again at 9am, we actually went to bed at a reasonable hour unlike you and your sister these days!

TV wouldn’t be popular with teenagers today either if you had to get up every time you wanted to swap channels so maybe the idea behind the remote was to attract a teenage audience?! It is amazing though to see how much the TV and cinema have evolved in the space of 30 odd years and the audiences that they have created. The way audiences treat media in public and private spaces has changed drastically.

What do you think television will be like for our children?

Here’s a look at TV in the 70’s and the 90’s ( back when we were young!)


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