Patrick Murphy

We finally made the switch.

After talking about it for months we finally dropped satellite television and went to a streaming service.

So far, so good.

Plenty of channels to watch, and with a strong Internet signal, reception is actually better than what we were experiencing through the satellite.

I’ll really love it when the bill comes in. As the cost of my satellite service continued to rise it was time to do something different, and streaming is so much cheaper it made no sense not to change.

It’s amazing how technology has changed since I was a kid.

I remember when my family first got color television, and to this day it seems like that was the most vivid picture I’ve ever seen.

I watched the New Orleans Saints play the then Baltimore Colts on Monday Night Football. The gold of the Saints uniforms and the blue the Colts wore are burned into my memory.

Back then, not every household had color television, so many were still watching black and white television sets. I’m sure we were one of the last to get a color TV set.

The only channels we received were ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS, and reception was sketchy at times.

We didn’t know any better, and three channels were all people received, and they signed off late at night because there was no 24-hour television.

Back then television did not rule our lives as much as it provided entertainment. There was no 24-hour sports channel or 24-hour news channels.

If you wanted to watch sports, baseball had a game of the week on Saturday afternoons, Monday night and then afternoon playoff and World Series games.

Football was a weekend and Monday night sport. Basketball featured the big match-ups; not every team got to be on television.

When your parents wanted to know what was going in their state or around the world, they watched local and national news on one of the three channels.

All that changed when I was a teenager.

In the 1980s we were introduced the cable television, and that was glorious. More of everything, especially if you were a sports fan.

Wall-to-wall sports of all kinds. When ESPN hit the airwaves it seemed heaven sent. A channel devoted to sports, and highlights of a bunch of games.

There was more.

TBS showed Atlanta Braves baseball, and WGN had the Chicago Cubs. My summers were spent flipping between those two channels and ESPN. I don’t know if that is when television officially changed, but it changed everything for me.

Cable introduced so many more possibilities, and reigned until satellite offered even more channels.

Now, television has changed again.

Streaming services are popping up all over the place, again offering more and cheaper.

Satellite and streaming services have made VCRs obsolete, and made it possible to record shows while watching another.

Most of us cannot even remember a time when so much was in our control just by pressing a button on our remotes.

Who knows what television will look like in five or 10 years from now.

No matter what changes, I doubt it’ll ever look as good to me as the color of the Saints and Colts on that Monday night when color television came to our home.

Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor at The Telegram.