Today's children (and younger adults) were born in an era of hundreds of TV channels. They don't remember a time when you had three choices to watch on TV--ABC, NBC, and CBS. We also had a local station that became Fox and, of course, PBS. If you wanted to watch TV, you had to turn a dial that looked like this:
There were no remotes. If you were a child, you were the one who changed the channel.
Even when cable came along, you had one TV in the house that had it. Everyone had to watch together. Your cable box had about 40 channels and looked like some variation of this:
If you tried to go from Channel 2 to Channel 42 too quickly, your mom said, "Stop that. You'll strip it!"
Or maybe that was just my mom.
In those early days, there were four paid movie channels: HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and The Movie Channel. At least that's what I remember? You bought HBO, you had ONE CHANNEL of HBO. I know, crazy, right? How did we ever survive?
(^Odd 1985 commercial somehow equating cable TV with being a good mom.)
But we can't talk about the introduction of cable without talking about this:
MTV changed everything. It set the tone for the 80s. It turned music from something you heard to something you saw. I'll leave you with the very first minutes MTV was ever on the air. "A new concept is born." How could we have known that someday it would be best known as the home of 16 and Pregnant?