Doug’s History Of Television

Posted: Monday, November 10, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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I was back on television over the weekend!
No, KELO didn’t call and ask me to fill-in on the news or anything like that. In fact, I never had to leave the house.
Our son, James, as promised, sent us one of those little high definition cameras to hook up to our computer. After a frustrating hour on the phone helping me figure out how to set the darn thing up, bang he was looking at Linda and me here while we were suddenly able to watch him, big as life,  live from his house in Oakland!
Daughter, Christy in Phoenix also has a computer camera. It’s hooked up to her laptop and, while Linda and I sat here in amazement, she walked around showing us the latest additions to her place including two recently acquired black kittens. We even had a video chat with her next door neighbors as they sat on their patio.
I know this technology has been around for several years but it’s new to us and great fun. In fact, it was so much like actually being there that it won’t be necessary to make the long trip to Arizona or California anymore. We’ll just give ‘em a call and turn on the camera. I’m kidding..I’m kidding! 
I’ve always been fascinated by television. The first one I ever saw was in the front window of Leite Hardware in 1952. It was shortly before KELO TV in Sioux Falls went on the air, so Art Leite had hooked up a huge antenna on his store and was able to pull in a weak television signal from somewhere down South. It was mostly electronic snow but I, and a lot of other people in town, stood there for long stretches at a time mesmerized at the sight of faint images moving across the 21 inch black and white TV screen.
We didn’t get our first set until 1955: a Capehart Overture II. It wasn’t the most expensive model but at 299 dollars, it was a major purchase for my dad who was only making about two bucks an hour at the time doing carpenter work.   Our first TV was a Capehart just like this one. The ad used some pretty flowery wording to describe what was, in fact, a pretty bare bones model; "Trim modern cabinet in fashion-right ebony Floratone. Diamond brilliant 21 inch picture. Capehart’s exclusive wrought iron legs and universal all-channel tuner."
A decade later, in 1965, I was a young married father and, like my old man, probably couldn’t afford the 499 dollars they were asking for a color TV set. But I bought one anyway. As I recall, it spent more time in the repair shop than our home.In 1995, I convinced Linda that we needed to spend 17 hundred dollars on a big screen projection TV for our new family room. Ten years later we replaced it with a 23 hundred dollar  flat screen hi def set.
Now, I’m sitting here in my little computer room which has been transformed into a television studio, literally overnight. Thanks to this one tiny camera, I’m suddenly able to point it in any direction and send the image over the internet to anywhere in the world!  It’s almost too much to compre…..hold on, gotta call coming in.
“Honey, it’s James..he wants to talk to you on the computer cam.”
“Uh, Jim..can Linda call you back later? She says her hair isn’t fixed.”

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