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When did TV setup go down the crapper?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DeathStar1, Jun 29, 2002.

  1. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

    Dec 28, 2001
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    I'm going through some old tapes to see what I can destroy and what I want to keep, since I have most of these old movies, and less of the TV shows, on DVD.
    I'm looking through the old TV shows as a sadly interesting blast from the Past. Most drastic are the Simpson episodes from 1993. No annoying bug Logos. Great picture quality. Great sound. And best of all, hardly any commercials.
    Sigh... when did things start to change for the worse?
    If anything, I might keep these things to show any future kids I might have what TV Viewing was like when I was young [​IMG].
  2. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

    Apr 24, 1999
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    Although The Bug (onscreen logo) was brought to the US airwaves on the Fox network starting May 1993 (for a while being on one minute before and after commercial breaks, which was annoying enough, then gradually stayed on all the time!), it was already rearing its ugly head on cable, first channel to use it was VH1 starting in 1990 (which is why I will NEVER buy a product, such as a "Behind The Music" video or album, put out by VH1). NBC started around 1996 I believe (never got good reception of the NBC affiliate so I wasn't watching them much anyway), CBS started early 1998 followed by ABC a few weeks later- TV as a medium was officially dead as far as I was concerned at that point.
    Onscreen logos have been around in Europe even longer though; I went to Germany in 1992 and noticed logos on the top of the screen on most channels there. I read that the first network to use a bug was RAI in Italy in the 1980's, which was having problems with pirate stations re-broadcasting their shows unauthorized, so they decided this would help put a stop to that.
    As far as commercial breaks go, it was traditionally about 10 minutes per hour- half-hour shows would have one break after the opening segment, then once in the middle, and once more before the end credits. I've heard it's gone to more than that since then.
    BTW you consider tapes from 1993 'old'? [​IMG] The oldest videotape I have (Beta) has the "60 Minutes" show from January 1, 1978, and at the end has the tail end of the original broadcast of the TV-movie "Sybil" from 1977!
    BTW I remember when the most annoying thing on TV was the voice-overs during the end credits of shows. Independent stations (ones not affiliated with networks, most of which have since become Fox, UPN or WB affiliates) would often put station logos on the screen for about 10 seconds in the middle of a show, which was annoying enough, but nothing at all compared to stuff that now stays on the entire time!!
    Oh yeah, might as well add something good to this- color started in the 1950's but some shows were still in black and white until the late 60's. The big development I remember was stereo, which came to the US in 1984 (it had already been in use in Japan for a while)- stations around here started broadcasting in stereo in 1985. NBC was the first network to support stereo, starting with the Tonight Show and David Letterman, and by fall '85 almost all of their shows were in stereo. The first regularly-scheduled show in stereo in our area was the syndicated cartoon "Voltron", of all things.
    I still blame Fox for starting to shove TV "down the crapper"; most of what I used to watch was on independent stations which would show mostly old movies, cartoons, reruns, and shows that didn't get picked up by the networks. Since Fox started they've been reduced to more of the same old thing. Before channel 40 in Sacramento became a Fox affiliate, they would show unedited movies during prime time, with "Fewer Commercial Interruptions" where they would only run commercials about every half-hour (of course the breaks were usually 5 minutes long instead of the usual 2). I have an old tape recorded from channel 5 in Los Angeles (now a WB station) that includes promos for prime-time movies shown with NO commercials!

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