They Made Black-And-White TVs Longer Than I Thought


I didn’t expect myself to watch all 12 plus minutes of this, but here I am, having just finished it. It brought back some memories for me.

I owned a few of these little TVs in my time. Not these exact ones as I recall although the name Spectra is ringing bells for some reason, but similar ones. They didn’t all have the built-in radio, and in my experience the ones that did weren’t particularly good at being either a radio or a television.

The first one I ever had was purely a TV. I got it in the early 1990s. It was actually pretty decent at pulling in signals with nothing but the standard extendable antenna like the ones you get on many radios. I could get most of what our main TV hooked up to the big tower outside could get aside from the American stuff that came in when the weather was just right. It was a little worse when my bedroom moved down to the basement, but it was still better than it had any right to be.

The last one was a combo unit that was in my possession and even got used sometimes especially at night well into the 2000s. I don’t think it survived our last move, though. Pretty sure it wound up on the pile of things that went to the e-waste depot along with the digital answering machine, some really freaking heavy elderly computer monitors and a bunch of other crap. Once they started shutting down the analog transmitters, there wasn’t much point in keeping it.

There’s a lot of complaining in here about image quality. No, these things were not very good, so I’m told. How good could they have been with screens that size though, really? But that’s not something I ever cared much about for reasons that become obvious if you poke around the blog for a few minutes. I was just happy to not have to always watch what my folks were watching and to have something else I could use to help me fall asleep.

I kind of miss having a bedroom TV. I know I could hang a flat screen on the wall and then pay for an extra cable box or get an over the air antenna or figure out how to rig up a splitter, but that all feels more complicated and expensive than any of this needs to be. It would be nice to have a digital version of one of these old things that would just plug in and go. That’s all I really need. Just something that’ll let me fall asleep watching the news or Seth Meyers or whatever.

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