Are you ready for some football?

It’s about this time of year when we usually start anticipating the upcoming fall television programming: what’s new and what’s returning.

Who knows what new programming we will have with COVID-19?

Hopefully, college and professional football is right around the corner.

Since the season of  “Yellowstone” ended, finding something on the tube is getting increasingly difficult unless you like reruns of “Jaws,” “The Godfather” or “Back to the Future.”

I don’t like quoting Wikipedia, however, of its list of television stations in the United States, I quit counting at 200.

With COVID-19 hitting in March, there hasn’t been much new programming. Since for awhile we didn’t go anywhere and even now date nights are often sitting on the deck watching the deer, television has been a major source of entertainment. Naturally, it has been a major source of entertainment for a long time.

When it comes to technology, TV, like everything else, has come a long way.

• First TV

My first recollection of television was a single TV in the living room with the only station being WIBW in Topeka. Watching “Bonanza” on NBC was trying to see it through a blizzard. Naturally it was black and white and was fed by a huge antenna standing alongside the house.

• TV in college

That was my first introduction to cable. Living two blocks from Aggieville, we didn’t watch a lot of evening television. Some of the guys liked watching “As the World Turns” in the afternoon.

• Apartment living TV watching

My sister-in-law Cheri gave us a color television as a wedding gift. The first time I watched “The Wizard of Oz” on it is the first time I realized much of it was in color.

Of course our Saturday nights were spent in front of “Saturday Night Live” with friends who were also poor college students.

• The dish

Long before there was the Dish Network and Direct TV, my dad got a satellite dish which was about the size of a trampoline. The dish had to be moved in order to switch programming and movies which, for awhile, were free.

• Cable

Cable allowed for 12 different channels on the television knob. I recall programming on Channel 1 and Channel 2 being local. One had to actually get out of the chair and manually turn the knob to change the channel.

• Cable box

The cable box sat on top of the old 13 channel television. It allowed up to 100 stations. During commercials, one could flip through the channels. Only by the time I got through all 100 channels, the commercial and the program had ended.

• Remote

The best invention for television since cable has been the remote. No longer did one have to put down their TV dinner to change the channel. One could flip, flip, flip, all night long.  I recall one night when this grandpa was babysitting newborn Hayden. A late night feeding involved holding baby and bottle while watching late night TV.

“How do I run the remote?” I thought. That was a challenge I hadn’t had to worry about when feeding his mother Robin. I first tried flipping channels with my big toe. Finally, I figured a way to hold the baby and the remote at the same time.

• The ‘new’ dish

Moving out into the country and away from cable, we have tried both Dish and DirecTV. They come with a multitude of channels. I am not exactly sure how many, but one can program their personal list of the stations they want to see and flip through. My wife Kathy and I have different tastes and, of course, different lists.

• DirectTV

One of the advantages of DirecTV is its app. I can watch my programs on my phone or other device. And I can hit record  remotely when I forget to record the final day of golf tournaments. We can also record a series to watch later so we don’t miss a new episode.

• Internet

Like most people, our first experience with internet TV was Netflix. There is an actual button on the remote that says Netflix and we didn’t need a Roku to get it. I have watched all episodes of “Breaking Bad” that got updated to “Better Call Saul” which I read was being written remotely because of the virus. It should return probably this time next year, depending on COVID-19.

And, of course, there was “Grace & Frankie” which is supposed to have a final season soon but who knows for sure?

We also tried a free trial of Disney+ to watch “Hamilton” and now we have added that option at a cost.

We are unable to get Hulu because we have wireless internet. We have tried Sling which worked well but had no local stations.

It appears the Internet boom is taking off with YouTubeTV, AT&Ttv, Amazon Prime, Philo and fuboTv to name just a few.

There is always something new and this dog has to learn new tricks to watch TV.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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