The road to digital television is littered with all kinds of boxy inventions that didn't quite catch on. Here are 10 that you may or may not remember.
The road to digital television is littered with all kinds of boxy inventions that didn't quite catch on. Decades from now, today's "modern" sets might be laughable, too. Still, we wouldn't have high-definition large-screen experiences without persistent engineers and inventors who were willing to risk technical hell in order to get us closer to TV heaven.
Launch the Timeline: 10 Defunct TV Technologies
"It's a tricky business to decide what is an obsolete technology because some of the most obsolete television technologies turn out to have been fairly important," says Elliot Sivowitch, a museum specialist emeritus with the Smithsonian who specializes in telecommunications history.
With that in mind, I presented him with ideas for a highly subjective list of TV relics to find out what we could learn from them. Sivowitch says he currently owns three black-and-white sets and isn't so keen on the switch from analog to digital. He still remembers his family's first TV -- a Stromberg-Carlson. "All we got on it was test patterns," he says. But they watched it anyway.