Journey of the idiot box

When our twelve year old faithful television conked off, our hunt for its replacement started. In spite of doing a bit of homework on all the brands through the net and the brochure procured, the sales persons were successful in confusing us to the core rattling off highly advanced features.

Thirty years ago, nobody would have dreamt even in their wildest of dreams that the small screen would progress so much technically. I remember my father had bought the then famous black and white television called Dyanora in 1972. He spent a fortune of Rs 4000 then. It had about six buttons which used to stick out. One each for hold, contrast, bright, the on-off buttons were provided. Some televisions were provided with an internal antenna and some with external. Both seemed to be good. As the external antenna used to be fixed on the terrace, in case of problems it was laborious task to set it right going on the terrace. So some opted for the internal antenna.
Slowly the market was infiltrated with colour televisions like Crown, Weston, etc. Dyanora lost the race against the colour ones. Though Dyanora tried its hand on colour television, it was a total disaster. Weston and Crown were fairly good though the colour scheme was a little dull. Those days television used to boot up late and hence Crown introduced the instant start colour television. Then colour television was supposed to be very luxurious and hence only the so called well-to-do families used to buy. But the epic serial ‘Mahabharata’ changed the whole scenario. The serial compelled people to throng to the shops to buy the colour television even on installments just to feel the ‘reality’ of the reel.

We also switched over to colour television and bought Videocon. Doordarshan ruled the roost as it was the only channel. Later when the cable television invaded the houses and broke the monarchy of the Doordarshan, televisions with eight to twelve channels were introduced. The older one-channel colour television could be brought in to use by fixing an ‘S’ band and it could compete with the contemporary ones. But BPL colour television introduced with remote created waves in the country. The concept of controlling the television sitting at a place caught the fancies of the couch potatoes and it was a big hit in the market.

The number of private channels went on increasing and hence televisions with infinite number of channels started coming in to the market. The older ones died a slow death. Doordarshan which was endangered quickly revived itself by making a pact with cable operators and made telecast of Doordarshan compulsory.
With the technology still in progress new ones are being introduced every other day, be it smart TV or the likes. Post purchase we still feel we should have bought the ‘other’ one!

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