Thursday, August 19, 2010

Waiting Until The Dot Disappears

You see, in the Olde Days when television was in glorious black and white and took three minutes to warm up (and you could barely see it during the day unless the curtains were drawn), there was The Dot. It was like the end of a Looney Tunes cartoon, in a way, when at the end the film would quickly collapse into a little blip.

In this case, you turned the tv off and the picture would collapse into a little dot at the center of the tube where it would stay for a period of time. A minute? Two minutes? I forget how long. But sometimes we would stay there, staring at it until it finally disappeared. The last glimmering phosphorescent glow.

Then it was all over. The set was officially off, dead. The Dot was gone until the next time we turned it on for the three-minute warm-up.

Yes, boys and girls, there was no instant-on in those days; you actually waited and it was an accepted part of life. If a program started at 8:00, you turned it on at 7:55 and then you made such adjustments as needed after it warmed up. If it flipped, you adjusted the vertical hold, maybe the horizontal hold if it was laying over.

They don’t have those controls anymore. Nor do they have the Fine Tuning for when you switched from station to station, because stations are actually offset a bit to prevent interference with each other on the same channel miles away. Channel changers were on the set and you actually turned them to choose what you wanted.


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