Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Yeah, when I was I kid we had to go on the roof to move the antenna to watch TV!

With all the talk about over the air digital TV I had some strange memories of watching TV via an antenna as a kid today.

First, I remember my dad going to radio shack to buy one of these on the roof antennas. But not just any antenna, one that had a motor on it. I don't remember exactly why we did this, but I suspect it was because we needed to watch the Giants.

Next I had to help my dad put it on the roof, attached to the fireplace. And not fall off.

Then run the cable, probably 1" wide, down the side of the house, in the window and to the TV. For those who remember my parent's house this is why we had those metal spikes in the side of the house until they got cable ;-)

We also had to run a ground wire. I remember Patrick joking about the ground wire for some reason, pretending to be electrocuted.

Anyway, this thing was the balls for the 1970s. When you turned on the TV, you could move the dial that went 359 degrees around and it would move the antenna the same degrees. So you'd start with the TV on the football game you wanted to watch, then turn the knob until the picture got good then turn it back when it went bad. I remember fighting over which position was 'best' for a particular channel.

In those days we had maybe 8 channels? NBC, CBS, ABC out of New York, CBS out of Hartford, Fox 5 (the original!) out of New York, PBS out of New York and Channels 9 and 11 (Mets and Yankees respectively). None of this 600 channels with nothing on. We had 8 channels with nothing on!

Anyway, as more people are trying to get HDTV over the airwaves I have to wonder if these antennas are coming back.

yeah, that was pretty random.


ryssee said...

I'm getting one for the tv in the weight room so I can march on the treadmill and watch The Bachelor at the same time.
Not giving directTV any more money for more of their stupid boxes to put in a room I'll use 6 times this year. :-)

overtly trite said...

LOL this is another post that could have been written by chris d! we too had the antenna and the weird little box with the button

Kimberly said...

I remember all those crazy antennas. And we only had 5 channels: ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and channel 11 our of NYC. Seriously! We were so deprived.