Harry Turner's Episodes of Personal History
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TV Blues (& Greens!)


Had a slight crisis at weekend when the TV tube went on the blink, and we lost the red beam. Watching snooker played with yellow, green, and blue balls plus an assortment of black and various shades-of-grey balls, is a trifle confusing. But apart from that, we found it quite restful watching other progs in vintage black'n'white. Made the repeats seem just like real repeats, and The Bill like Z Cars...

However, Granada's TV-Repairman arrived first thing Monday and after the initial shock of being asked to deal with such an obviously vintage set ("They don't make 'em in veneered cabinets any more!" he ses, "I don't think I can get you a replacement of this model...") said we'd be offered a more state-of-the art model. So we had a new set installed yesterday. He marvelled at the remote-control we had and opined that it must have been the very first model Granada put out, so we let him take it away for their museum.

We are still studying the manual to find out how the complicated replacement works, marking the change from analogue tuning to purely digital operation, and struggling to master the intricacies of Teletext facilities. No doubt all good preparation for learning to cope with the 21st century when it gets here. Meanwhile, it's a relief to see the snooker in full colour again.


Have caught up with the digital technology of the replacement TV, and can now summon up these CEEFAX pages offering supplementary info for progs like Sky At Night, which may be useful on occasion. Discovered also that CEEFAX provides captions for most programmes, (which may be helpful when Klingons are plotting dastardly deeds in their own lingo in StarTrek), to the extent of verbalising sound effects like "crash" or "crackling"! While investigating, was amused to find that even the signature tune of Neighbours is rendered as a caption... perhaps that really is taking things too far!


Was amused to try out the Ceefax captions on Homicide [Life on the Street] the other night, as I'm never sure whether the characters mumble as part and parcel of the 'realistic' presentation, or if it's just my hearing that's deteriorating with age. Proved quite an entertaining experience—the captions would seem to be script-based, and are not always borne out by the actual dialogue, and found I learned several slang words that otherwise would have been lost as mere mumbling. Adds a distinct dimension to the experience! ■

Letters to Steve Sneyd in 1996

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