In the same way that not necessarily all old computer games were more playable than their modern counterparts just because their sprites were lucky if they were polygonal and bi-coloured rather than effectively polyhedral and rendered in millions of shades in real-time it is certainly not true that old telly was necessarily better than moderntelly. However, it could be said that more energy is now expended purely on the visuals than previously just because it's easier to see the joins or strings which might otherwise detract from the story (if there is one). An early pre-cinéma-release timecoded download of Episode III (which I held off watching until after seeing it on the big screen) was of such quality that it rather put me in mind of the quality of picture available from my old black-and-white twisty-dial telly which my parents still use in the kitchen. Some elements of modern films (such as CGI space battle sequences) are designed to be seen when you can discern every little tiny detail although they're still perfectly watchable at lower resolutions. It doesn't always work the other way as expectations have grown alongside the growth in capabilities.

It's a pity that things like this will lose most of their purpose when analogue television transmissions are finally switched off. They could technically still be used but it would sort of miss the point to just plug them into the coax output of a freeview box or video and use the remote control to change channel; shackling them to another component would remove a lot of their portability too.

Even though I've never watched that much television having one of these as a teenager was still a kind of freedom-enhancing tool like access to a car or having a bank account with a cashcard; rather than having to actually sit in the same room as my parents and sister I was able to watch what I wanted in the comfort and mess of my room. More to the point I was able to play Scrabble against the ZX Spectrum when not playing guitar in avoidance of doing any homework. The same television briefly came up here from 1997 to 1998 though there was never much on.

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