Whatever happened to …

… snowmobile static?

How’s this for inspiration? I was out shovelling the driveway after the big dump we had earlier this week and the guy or his kid from down the road went flying by on a snowmobile in the farmer’s field across the road. Later that evening while I was thawing out, someone went up and down the road and across the farmer’s field behind me. Might have been the same guy?

I just kept watching television. And started thinking…

Growing up, my parents had a snowmobile and I would have been that person/people flying on the snow. But that’s not the point of this post. Again, it was about television. At the time, we had a massive selection – Channel 8 from Wingham north of us, Channel 10 from London south of us, and Channel 13 from Kitchener east of us. On really cloudy nights, occasionally we could pick up Detroit. I can remember having to go outside to rotate the antenna when I was young until later when we moved to the big time and got a router in the house to do it. No more fighting with my brother to see who had to go outside.

So, sitting at home watching television, our street sometimes was like a dragway for snowmobiles. I know that the car speed limit would have been 50km/h but the snowmobiles were considerably faster. And — they would cause static to appear on the television as they swooshed by. It was momentary, to be sure, but annoying all the same.

For the most part, we’ve gone digital which eliminates all this. Digital, by its nature, is either there or not there. No fuzzy static inbetween. If there’s a problem, it just cuts out. When we bought our first digital television, we also installed a digital antenna on the roof. In the Windsor/Detroit area, there are so many channels available “over the air”. And, unlike satellite or cable, they’re not compressed so in theory you can get better pictures and sound. I can’t personally confirm this but do like the additional channels that stations now offer. So, instead of just Channel 4, we now get 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, … Don’t tell the CRTC but we can also watch the Super Bowl and see the commercials first hand.

The changeover was a big thing.

This video has some static for old time’s sake. I checked and the channels seem to be now digital.

Digital is just so much better. In addition to broadcasting just the show, the digital signal also has information right on the screen about the broadcast.

For a Sunday, your thoughts?

  • do you go back far enough to remember analog television and the interference issues?
  • were some antennas better than others for reducing static?
  • do you watch television over the air or have you gone completely digital?
  • have you ever wondered why over the air television is free and the same channel and same commercials cost you a monthly fee through satellite or cable?
  • do you even watch commercial television these days or are you a user of streaming services over the internet?
  • do you pay for services that stream over the internet? Do you have recommendations for the best of the best?
  • does it seem like overkill to watch old television shows or movies with their poor quality and a 4:3 ratio on your high end television with 16:9 resolution?
  • lest we get too far from the original premise, do you or did you ever own a snowmobile?

I’d be most interested in your reflections. Please share them in the comments below. Please continue the conversation.

2 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …

  1. Pingback: My Week Ending 2021-02-21 – doug — off the record

  2. Pingback: OTR Links 02/22/2021 – doug — off the record

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