9 ways TV / family entertainment has changed in my lifetime


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I’m going to throw myself under the bus and age myself huge here. But wow, has family entertainment and TV come a long way in my lifetime. If you would have told me some of the things I would be able to do in my lifetime when I was 10 years old, I would have stared at you in disbelief. But, instead, here we are with all of these crazy things that make our lives easier and give us access to more, faster.

Really, we are a demanding people.

9 ways TV and family entertaining has changed in my lifetime

9 ways that TV / family entertaining has changed my lifetime

1. Knobs

When I was growing up, the TV in our kitchen (right, kitchen) had several knobs on it. One for volume, one for power, and two separate knobs for the tv channels. I think if my kids saw a knob on a TV they would think it was a joke. In fact, if I saw knobs on a TV now, I’m not even sure I would know what to do with them.

2. Remotes

Those knobs above helped change the channel. Remotes were a game changer. I recall our VCR had a corded remote and we thought it was the coolest thing ever that we could sit like 5 feet away and fast-forward a movie. Now, there are remotes that work over wifi and even voice controlled remotes, which sort of begs the question, why are there even buttons on it?

voice controlled xfinity remote

3. Tracking

Have a VHS tape that is fuzzy, or the sound doesn’t match the video? No worries, just edit the tracking. It could have been a knob, or maybe it was on the remote. Either way, almost every time you watched a movie, you had to fiddle with the tracking.

Now, I never have to edit the tracking for a movie when I stream shows with OnDemand.

4. Color

Yes. Color. As in before color, there was no color, it was black and white. Yes, we watched TV without color. There’s a part of me that thinks some things were best left in black and white.

5. Screens

Flat screen. Curved Screen. LED. OLED. LCD. HD. DPI. Plasma. Big screen. Projector. I’m sure there were even more words to describe TVs. Our black and white TV had to have been about 13”. I don’t think TVs are even made that small anymore unless it’s called a tablet.

6. TV on the go

When we got older we had a TV/VCR combo that plugged into a cigarette lighter in the car. We thought that was the coolest ever until we left a movie in the VCR overnight in freezing temperatures and the tape froze and we couldn’t use the tape or the VCR the rest of the trip! Now, you can load up your X1 DVR and take it with you on the road with your computer or device. What is this world?

7. Be kind. Rewind.

I’m not even sure you can go to a place to rent a movie. Now, you watch them online, rent them online or go to a box at the grocery store. But, if you didn’t rewind that VHS tape, you were going to get charged a fee, because that rewinding takes time and if it’s a popular movie, they need to be able to turn it around again. Quick.

8. Around the house

There used to be designated TV and entertainment areas. You were limited by where things were plugged into the wall. Not any more. Now, we have tablets and smart phones and wifi. I can watch a movie or show in my backyard, in my bed, in my living room or even the bathtub without mounting anything to the walls or having to install a new cable line.

9. Restart that show

If you miss the start of a show? Game over. You could call a friend and hope they would fill you in, but you would likely never catch up. Now? No worries, on popular networks and channels, you can restart a show even if you didn’t DVR it.

There is even more coming. I’m sure 99% of it I can’t even imagine. That’s actually giving me credit. I can’t even imagine 1% of the changes that are coming down the line.

For example, Comcast just purchased DreamWorks Animation in a pretty quiet transaction.

Comcast Dreamworks 1200x628

Of course, this means I’m going to start figuring out when I can watch Shrek OnDemand, but more importantly, it means that Comcast is thinking ahead and concentrating on innovation and the future of technology with DreamWorks Animation.

Shrek 1

What will this mean for the future of entertainment? In the business sense, it means they’re gaining a BUNCH of awesome content that will be available to customers. As far as technology goes, the partnership between Comcast and another like-minded company shows their commitment to the best in animation and entertainment.

What are some ways that TV/ family entertaining has changed in your lifetime? 

XFINITY partnered with bloggers such as me for this program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. XFINITY believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. XFINITY’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. 

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  1. pat chance says:

    you are lucky you didn’t have to deal with rabbit ears for very long. I am sure some of you remember putting aluminum foil on the ends for better reception.

  2. Oh the knobs! 🙂 We had a TV like that, too. My Dad bought my mom a remote controlled TV that was like a bajillion dollars when she was pregnant because it was so hard to get up. She kept it until it died in the late 90s.

  3. I LOVE our voice remote. My little ones can use it to find what they are looking for. I was without cable for a few years and just came back to it. I’m glad I did.

  4. I loved the TV/VCR combos. No trying to find lost wires because the only VCR was moved to another TV and so and so lost the cord.

  5. Dorothy Hubbard says:

    Yes TV and entertainment is changing rapidly. I have a hard time adjusting to the new technoligy(sp), but it’s all for the better. I am afraid my age is showing.

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