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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Television then and now

The console model TV in the middle looks like ours from 1949

This morning I received an email from Cox Communications telling me they are adding the Filipino Channel to their already gigantic lineup of channels. The Filipino Channel will be the first network in Asia to deliver full time programming to Filipino-Americans.

I felt a sigh of relief when I received the news that this channel is coming on board to Cox. I’m sure the entire Filipino community in America is also celebrating as I punch out this blog. Now, if we write enough letters to Cox maybe we can get the “illegal immigrant network” or maybe the “Iceland-Greenland Today” network.

Of course, I am speaking tongue in cheek but it does amaze me the number of TV stations and networks we can receive in this world of endless communication. As I look at the Cox schedule and see channels like The Pentagon Channel, Jewelry TV, and AZCapitolTV, I wonder what their viewing numbers are. They have to be miniscule but there they are, wishin’ and a hopin’ that you will punch in their numbers.

As far as Cox is concerned, I sometimes wonder how they run the place. I have had their basic lineup, digital stations, and music channels for quite a while and have been paying a monthly bill of $123. That includes TV, computer, and land line phone.

Recently, I called them and asked how I could get the Fox Business Channel. The guy said “No problem, that is part of the ‘sports-info’ tier and if you take it you will also get a bunch of movie channels, the NBA, NHL, NFL Networks and many more.” And, the cost of these wonderful additions? Surprisingly, my monthly cost dropped $4 to $119. Go figure. Maybe I should order HBO and Showtime and see if I can get the cost down to about $100.

With all this TV to watch, it reminds me of the days we had our roof antenna in Cincinnati and gleefully tuned in our three stations broadcasting NBC, ABC, CBS, and occasionally DuMont before they folded in the early 1950’s. Having our own TV was quite the luxury. Before TV became more common, we would pile into the house of a girl up the street to get our daily fix of “Howdy Doody” on a 14 inch Admiral. Later, it was Tuesday nights for Uncle Miltie on NBC with the “Texaco Star Theater.”

My Catholic friends would be steadfast in watching Bishop Sheen give out his advice on TV. I sure was glad I wasn’t Catholic; my friends said the bishop was “borrrrriiiiing” but their parents insisted they watch him.

Sports were really fun to watch. We never missed the Cleveland Browns games on Sunday as they flickered in 16" black and white. I liked the commercials for Carling’s Black Label beer, the sponsor of the games. “Hey, Mabel! Black Label!” I could use one now.

Sorry, I have to go now. I don’t want to miss the 1:00 program on the new Filipino Channel.

To leave a comment or read any of the other 47 comments, click "Jim's azcentral blog" in the right column under links. You will not receive a virus. Jim McAllister writes blogs, columns, and opinions for The Arizona Republic in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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