18 November 2008

The More Things Change...

When I was a young nerd, I had a black and white television. I could watch the local UHF channels, but I didn't have access to our main antenna, so I made do. I realized that playing with the rabbit ears meant that I could almost get in some of the far-away UHF channels from Baltimore, or even York, PA if the wind was blowing right (not so much rolling down the plain as howling through the valley, if you will). I further realized that by hooking up some aluminum foil and a section of fence I got from God-knows-where, I was able to get a picture. A VERY snowy picture. In black and white. With audio static. but I watched.
This is how I saw a lot of Star Trek: TNG the first time around. Oh the evenings I whiled away , beaming with pride at my accomplishments. A Grade A hack ... well, B+, at least.
Fast forward to years later. I'm all grown up, almost have a Master's degree, wife, house, dogs, and a broadband connection. What do I find myself doing some dark October evening? Essentially the 2008 equivalent of watching grainy TV over a rigged antenna: watching episodes of Star Trek: DS9 in very low-quality 10 minute chunks via YouTube. I'd still be doing it, too, but I ran out of episodes-in-order, and I want to watch them in order.
I bought season 1 from the iTMS, but they don't have any of the other seasons. I can't figure out if Netflix has them available for their download service or not, and if you haven't figured it out by now, I'm not terribly interested in the DVDs.
As a young nerd I almost bought the VI Star Trek movies on VHS, in all their packaged glory; of course there was no way I was dropping $100+ on 6 movies on tape. No way. I also knew there were going to eventually be more movies, and my little tiny OCD didn't like the thought of all of the VHS spines not matching.
Now everything is out on DVD. I still haven't bought anything. For some reason I can rationalize the downloading of episodes and paying for them, but the DVDs take up room, and if I do that, I'm buying them on Blu-ray, on which format they don't yet exist. Paramount/CBS (no longer one company, I know) will also have to re-master a LOT of hours of TV and re-render a pile of FX to deliver us an HD trek series beyond the Trek: Remastered stuff (which is beautiful, btw.).
But I digress; I had a little inside chuckle about the evolutionary recursiveness of doing the same thing over again - I guess in another 15 years I'll be watching HD 2-D stuff on the hypernets when I could be paying a premium for the 3D renders. Pshhh. Kids and their 3-D; back in my day we had 2-D and were happy for it!
Both ways uphill!

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