Thursday, May 06, 2010

In media res


People are in employment who've never not known the Internet. I remember ten years ago taking on a work experience student who spent the entire day on IM telling her friends how bored she was. And I thought then "tch. kids today".

But it's worse now. Or better. But genuinely... everything's changing and changing so fast it's like the theme tune to Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads.

For instance, roughly speaking...
  • In the 1950s, telly was in black and white, 4x3 and had 405 lines.
  • In the late 1960s, telly was in B&W, 4x3 and had 625 lines (hi def!)
  • In the 1970s telly was in colour (I remember a snotty kid called Dominic pointing at the Red Green and Blue dots on the formica front of ours and sniffing "Huh, yours only has three colours. Ours has all of them").
  • In the 1980s, telly got Nicam Stereo and by the end of the decade, we all got video recorders so that we didn't have to miss shows... if we could programme the sodding things.
  • In the 1990s, we got widescreen
  • In the 2000s we got... digital, freeview, PVRs, the IPlayer, bittorrent, HD, DVDs then Blu-Ray... 
Yes, there's a bit of a fudge in the last bit, but you'll agree it's all a bit of a rush. And now Sky is launching 3D telly, already making whatever you bought last year obsolete.

When I was a child, my parents got me a Boots B&W portable telly. It weighed so much it held down a tent in a storm, and you tuned it with a dial. I finally said goodbye to it in late 2001. Apart from anything else, my DVD player just had no idea how to talk to it. But I was sad to see it go.

Now TVs are things that we shrug off like frayed socks. The lovely Ros who is staying in my Glasgow flat at the mo emails to say that she can't work the telly. It's not broken, she just can't get the hang of it "but don't worry, I picked up a new one on the way home." That's where we are.

I've a trunk in the flat of obsolescence. It contains two laptops, the record player, the minidisc, the VHS and, of all things, the DVD-Recorder (which is soooo five years ago). I got the last two out yesterday to copy over some old tapes for my parents, and got a few minutes in and thought... "there must be an easier way". The answer is, madly, that it was easier to download the shows from YouTube and burn them to DVD on my laptop (with a menu feauturing pictures of my cat, natch).

Of course, the brilliant thing about YouTube is that, if the source is an old VHS tape, you get strange little bits of old wonder that remind you how brilliant telly was in those days. Or not. Please, for your own joy and wonder, watch the first 30 seconds of the following clip:

4 comments:

jon0301astabron said...

how do u do?................................................................

Skip said...

lawks, the spam has got tiresome. right, i'll look into it. meanwhile, don't go buying any magic pills.

jonesy said...

I'm not sure what's worse:

- Simon Parkin in a mullet
- someone thought it was acceptable to call a programme "Now It's Daffs"
- that I can remember Charlie Chalk from my childhood
- that someone considered getting "Six English Towns" out of the archive
- that despite TV being this sh*t, I was aching to work in the industry

Skip said...

I would like to watch NOW IT'S DAFFS. Very much.