A mild little thought

The TV manufacturers are spreading the news of the Royal Wedding. With the offer that you can upgrade your TV to whatever today’s new lovely standard big screen is just in time to watch it.

We do have the historical story that people bought TVs to watch QE II’s wedding (or the Coronation?) and that this was one of the kick starts of adoption in the UK.

So a mild thought. How much of the current pushing of the current standards for the current event is going to work and how much of it is some folk memory of that historical tale?

38 comments on “A mild little thought

  1. It’s a nice thought. But I suspect after Saturday, all campaigns will switch to “Upgrade now so you can watch England get knocked out on penalties in the World Cup!”

  2. I might consider buying a new telly if they promised NOT to expose me to any more dreck about Harry and Meghan

  3. TV from Alexandra Palace, London only, restarted June 1946 and was very limited . It was the Coronation of 1953 which was the big one, not long after new transmitters had gone up for the provinces. I was privileged to be invited by the only family in the street to have TV to watch. The new transmitters and more on the way meant TV manufacturers could go into mass production, prices cheaper and a choice was available as well as being technically superior. So there was a boom in sales especially among working people fed up with queuing at the cinema. Other factors were credit was now available in the 50’s and renting a common and viable option. The Coronation was a sort of special offer as part of the sales.

  4. My old CRT telly is not playing videos well any more.

    Since that –and watching the Original Star Trek on the Frees– is all I use it for I’m wondering if buying a flat screen trasher is worth it.

    The better the technology the crappier grows the content it seems.

  5. a) Not noticed that campaign at all. Which is interesting, since the pre-wedding coverage, of what basically boils down to the bastard spare doing some sort of colonial, is doing my fucking head in.

    aaa) That campaign I have noticed. Been going on for a good three weeks at least, I reckon.

    b) Liz’s wedding was ’47. Feels too early. Coronation in ’53 seems better, as the act enabling the creation of commercial telly was ’54 with the ITV network being created from ’55 to ’62. Depends on the lead time of that act, but I suspect it’s an industry folk-tale; just a feeling, I don’t know. I’d guess it’s the completion of the ITV network that’s more important – more content available.

    c) It probably won’t work. The World Cup has massive global appeal, and each game, and the whole tournament, has time value – watching it live vs. the highlights (that episode of the Likely Lads was broadcast in ’73) – which is the driver. Or the one they’re counting on. But the content distribution is fragmented – having a 4k box doesn’t guarantee that the content you’re watching was made at that resolution, or broadcast/streamed at it. Hence the signal processing going on the boxes these days.

  6. My grandparents had a pre-war TV, lurking in the corner of the sitting room. 9″ wide-screen in predominantly pink if I remember rightly. (The picture not the casing. That was more your polished mahogany)
    Entirely the right apparatus to be watching the forthcoming Royal Wedding on, to my mind.

  7. We do have the historical story that people bought TVs to watch QE II’s wedding (or the Coronation?) and that this was one of the kick starts of adoption in the UK.

    It was the Coronation. It was shown in cinemas as so few had a TV – there were day screenings for schools which is when my mother saw, and night/weekend for others.

  8. I’m with dearieme. I, and just about everyone I know is now totally bored with this royal wedding business. It’s not even like he’s in any danger of becoming king, given the large number of people who would have to die first, thus making who he marries even less important…

  9. My mother says she first saw television for the coronation in 1953. At that point, of course, a set was a fairly hefty chunk of a year’s salary for a normal guy, so they were few and far between. Now they’re so cheap they’re virtually impulse purchases. They were still fairly dear into the 80’s. For Princess Anne and Cpt. Mark Phillips’ do in ’73 we trooped off over the road to see it on the neighbours’ colour set (so I am told; don’t remember a thing). We didn’t get a colour TV until 1976.

    When my 34″ LG CRT died a couple of years back, I didn’t replace it. I have a miniature thing like you’d have in a caravan which gets switched on for three minutes every other month. If I want to see a film I’ll download it and watch it on my HD monitor. News is more conveniently consumed via the Internet as well.

  10. Haven’t had a telly for nearly 10 years. Can’t claim not to watch telly of course. I watch downloaded/streamed TV shows and movies plus sport on my laptop or on my big iMac screen if I have company.

  11. When I was at John Lewis, events like the World Cup were a massive driver for TV sales. Not sure that I’d see the royal wedding in the same way – would be interesting to see the figures around the time of the last one.

  12. Personally I’m a bit disappointed with the royal wedding coverage. With CGI and image manipulation reaching the point where dead actors (Peter Cushing) can convincingly appear in films, it seems they have missed a trick as the question that has been torturing me and which modern technology could surely have answered is who would have won a bikini wresting competition in a paddling pool full of chocolate custard if both were assumed to be in action the night before the wedding – Megan or Di?

  13. I have a c 10 year old plasma flatscreen which is only HD ready, not full HD, and I have no intention of replacing it until the phosphors start to look obviously dim (maybe 10-15 years from now) or OLED becomes dirt cheap as in my view its picture beats all but the really expensive tech at the moment.

  14. If you think about WHO is getting married and WHERE they come from, it is not really even a royal wedding!

  15. If you think all previous royals have been

    A) local

    and

    B) actually high born

    you need to read more history Billaboy.

    Henry VII was a minor noble. And the “British” royal family are mostly German anyway.

    Traditionally consorts are foreign in royal families. Even if also cousins.

  16. AndrewC: I’m sure Rocco & his mates could now come up with something even more outré for our delectation…

  17. “I’m with dearieme. … now totally bored with this royal wedding business”: I’m not bored by it, I simply ignore it.

    Nonetheless I hope the pretty girl is good for the previously rather immature young man – who apparently is not Hewitt’s bastard, by the way, because the dates are hopelessly wrong.

    As for TV: one of the few things I remember from primary school is that only one boy’s family had a telly. So after school we would sometimes all troop off to David Wood’s house to watch it. Mrs Wood must have been a long-suffering heroine of hospitality. Was there still rationing? Dunno. When did the Tory Scum abolish it?

    addendum: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/4/newsid_3818000/3818563.stm

  18. This is interesting. It seems to have been Tory Scum John Major who rescued British cheese.

    WKPD: “Although rationing formally ended in 1954, cheese production remained depressed for decades afterwards. During rationing, most milk in Britain was used to make one kind of cheese, nicknamed Government Cheddar … This wiped out nearly all other cheese production in the country, and some indigenous varieties of cheese almost disappeared. Later government controls on milk prices through the Milk Marketing Board continued to discourage production of other varieties of cheese until well into the 1980s, and it was only in the mid-1990s (following the effective abolition of the MMB) that the revival of the British cheese industry began in earnest.”

    We’ll have so much to look forward to under Jezza, eh?

  19. “it was only in the mid-1990s (following the effective abolition of the MMB) that the revival of the British cheese industry began in earnest.”

    About the time Wensleydale appears. And Wallace and Gromit are 1989, 93 and 95, then a big gap ’til ’08. Funny ol’ world.

    Gotta love this blog sometimes.

  20. 4K is worth it if you have a really huge TV. HDR (high dynamic range and wide colour gamut) looks beautiful if you have the content for it and a TV that can do it justice; but I don’t think the royal wedding will be viewable in HDR. I want to know if it will have Dolby Atmos sound (surround sound with sound out of your ceiling).

    I imagine the intersection of people who care about the royal wedding and people who care about display technology is quite small. That said, if I had people coming who wanted to watch it I’d want to put on a good show.

  21. Rob: Right about huge & HDR, but I would look for an independent sound solution. Same for sound/video origination. TVs lose their whizzo services quite quickly once the manufacturer stops doing firmware updates so something like a Fire TV box, decent Blu-Ray player or even Sky Q if you want to pay through the nose. The extra box is much cheaper to replace than the TV display usually when it starts to lose services.

  22. Tim Newman – “Born in Pembroke though, so destined for greatness.”

    Born in Wales, lived for years overseas, notably in France. Hmmmm, perhaps it is time for a change in the House of Windsor.

    I can’t say I can get all that excited about the Royal Wedding. Harry did the Right Thing as Heir – except he did not get himself killed in Afghanistan. But apart from that, he has done his part well. Up to now. For some reason he has taken up with a piece of American trailer park trash. Not even that really. I hope it is the sex – and the sex is worth it.

  23. SMFS

    I wouldn’t know, but by all accounts, the ladies of minor royalty or in the nobility generally go like fvckin Duracell bunnies.

    My guess is that trailer park types do not quite have the same stamina.

    Or Harry could be a closet battyman of course.

  24. @dearieme, May 17, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    WikiP is exaggerating.

    I first tried Caerphilly in late 60s in a restaurant in Lake District – liked its dry, taste and crumbly texture.

    In 70s the Cheeseboard in parents’ hotel had a stilton, brie, cheddar, caerphilly and more.

  25. I’m with dearieme. I, and just about everyone I know is now totally bored with this royal wedding business. It’s not even like he’s in any danger of becoming king, given the large number of people who would have to die first, thus making who he marries even less important…

    Me too. My equally royalist mother is same.

  26. dearieme – “no, notably in Brittany.”

    I fully support this call for Breton independence from the oppressive French state.

  27. Rob Fisher: 4K TVs do indeed give a stunning picture and they are dirt cheap. But my willingness to part with a sum of money non-negligibly greater than zero is entirely contingent on there being something other than total shite to watch on it.

  28. No point buying it for broadcast shite, but there’s plenty of higher quality stuff on Amazon, YouTube (and presumably Netflix).

  29. “I fully support this call for Breton independence from the oppressive French state”: it was fucking independent at the time. That was the point of the remark.

  30. Tractor Gent: “I would look for an independent sound solution”

    Yes, I meant to say that, of course. Good sound requires separate equipment.

  31. I’ve never bought a TV. When my brother got a colour TV I got his black-and-white which was used 90% of the time with my computer. I then got his cast-off colour CRT and when that died and I almost heria’d myself getting it out of the house I got my Mum’s cast-off flatty. It’s on at the moment as I’m waiting for the 7pm news at 8 o’clock, but I spend most of the time with Radio 4Extra on in the background.

  32. Be as cynical as you like about the event, this was a top notch television production. Quite the technical achievement with so many cameras over such a wide area. The UHD looked gorgeous, showing up every detail of the architecture, and the Dolby Atmos sound really filled the room with the ambience of venue. Those fanfare trumpets reverberating out of the ceiling were particularly striking.

    Ok, I’m a bit of a home cinema geek but the tech is real, marketing difficulties be damned.

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