In article <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org
>> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Do you remember *many, many* years
>> ago when cable television was first getting underway how 'they' said
>> cable would be a better deal 'since there would not be any
>> commercials; it is all paid for by your cable fees'. What a joke
>> that was. Of course that was long before they started showing
>> commercials in the movie theatres (where you had bought a five or
>> six dollar ticket to watch a movie also.) PAT]
> Yes, I do. Indeed, I remember a lot of promises about cable
> television that never came to be, and I've read a lot of the hopes for
> broadcast TV that either never came out or only did in a trickle.
> All these broken promises from new technology is a motivator for many
> of my postings here. I've seen enough "oh this is a wonderful
> technology!" promises when in reality it actually made things _worse_
> for us consumers. Sometimes the technology itself was just plain bad,
> sometimes it was the way it was promoted and marketed.
> Everyone is deep in love with "digital" over analog, but the rush to
> implementation had a lot of bugs with disasterous consquences as
> firemen radios went dead. A major police system used in several
> cities tends to fail; the mfr is working on it.
Working on it until the first wrongful death suit that is.
> The old Bell System used to test, test, and retest its new
> technologies before rolling them out nationwide. After in-house
> extensive lab testing, they did carefully controlled beta tests in one
> real exchange. Their famous initial ESS tests taught them a heck of a
> lot about reliability, the switchgear, and station sets.
The first ESS couldn't even handle ring current so there were special
phone sets with electronic ringers. Now here we are forty or so years
later and most new phones have electronic ringers yet the
infrastructure still supports the 90VAC 20Hz signalling.
> The original point of CATV was better reception. I'm still waiting
> for that to happen. For some reason the lowest channels on my system
> come in very poorly, and I've called them out many times. As it
> happens I don't watch those channels too much so I live with it, but
> it's interesting how this supposedly high-tech medium (with fiber
> optic now) still can't get the basics right.
I love how the cable companies harp on the fact that satellite
transmission can be interrupted by rain, and then one of their own
carried stations goes off the air because you guessed it, weather
interfered with the cable companies OWN satellite reception.
> The second point of CATV was better program selection. In some ways
> that has come true, but in many ways that's lacking. When Nick@Nite
> and TV Land first came out they offered some neat stuff from the
> 1950s, but now it's just more reruns of recent junk. Nick daytime had
> some creative original shows, but I don't think they bother anymore.
What kills me is all the commercials. I've got expanded basic service
and I can flip through all 80 channels in a given time and see nothing
> I don't think much of cable news networks because they spew out raw
> facts that are _out of context_ and thus not newsworthy. Good news
> reporting is more than just reporting isolated facts -- it is putting
> them together in a logical fashion, eliminating contradictions, and
> putting in a wider context. Despite all the time they have they still
> put everything in brief sound bites.
But that costs money. It's the same thing that ruined prime time
television. Reality television is so much cheaper to produce but you
get absolute lowest common denominator television. The only reason I
watch the local evening news is to if anyone I know has gotten
ambushed which has happened a couple of times. :)