Friday, June 19, 2009


Well, It's finally happened!

The most significant technical change in television since the introduction of color has arrived.

Welcome to The Digital Age of Broadcasting.

That fuzzy old boxy analog TV set that has been relegated from prime time viewing status in the living room, to a back up in the kitchen, to the late night night light in the guest bedroom is now little more than junk.

Or a scientific relic. It all depends on how you look at it. Literally.

Digital Television promises wonderful things; clearer, sharper and truer colors. Surround sound. High Definition. And, in the works, 3D Television.

But of all its wonders, digital does have some drawbacks.

For example, if you don't have a converter built in to the last TV you bought and you are not on cable or satellite, you will have to do one of these three things; buy a converter box, or subscribe to cable of satellite. Without them, one or the other, you will get NO picture on your television set.

Which brings me to the greatest loss of all due directly to the digital conversion; No more white noise and "snow".

I liked nothing better than to fall asleep on the couch in front of the old analog TV and wake up in the middle of the night to that soft white noise "shisssssss" sound and the dancing black and white sparkling dots on the screen. It was all sort of comforting in a way. Almost ethereal.

But with the Digital Age the gentleness of the "late late night wake up and go to bed" call is gone forever. And something else is gone forever too.....the ACTUAL picture of the background energy left over from the Big Bang when the Universe was created.


That's right, those dancing black and white dots were a picture after all! They were the actual faint background radiation activity of the early nano-seconds of the creation of the Universe picked up by the analog television receiver when clicked over to a non broadcasting channel or when the channel being watched went off the air for the night.

Those dancing dots were nothing less than a VISUAL remnant of The Big Bang. The BEGINNING of the ENTIRE UNIVERSE being received right in our own living rooms and we didn't even know it. Now, with digital, you will wake up to flat blackness on the screen manufactured by the guts of the digital mother board when there is nothing going on. No more white noise, either.

Not half as good as staring at and listen to the faint and fading images and sounds of the very, very beginning of TIME.

We could have picked it up in our living rooms, family rooms, bedrooms, SCHOOL ROOMS, when ever we need a little lesson in human humility or an excellent example of science in the raw. But no. "Nothing on" we would sign, turning off the set AND walking away from our very own front row seat to THE CREATION OF THE UNIVERSE!

Now we CAN'T dial in the greatest show in all of eternity (up to now, anyway) even if we wanted to because, it seems, the Universe is analog.

And TV has gone digital.

Ask anyone in the Television Biz and they will tell you that analog....just doesn't cut it anymore.


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  2. The greatest show of all eternity may be gone, however thanks to digital TV I can now tune into the next best thing - People Near Here!

    We haven't switched off analogue here in New Zealand just yet, but I'm going to be sad when it goes.