By: Don Ward
By: Don Ward

When I was a kid I wanted a TV I could wear like a watch. It's coming.

Watch Your Watch

It was the early 1970's, I was probably 2nd or 3rd grade.  I was a kid living just outside St. Louis, obsessed with baseball.  It was probably late September and the baseball playoffs were just getting started.  Back then they used to play day games, on weekdays, for the playoffs.  Anyone at work or in school missed the game.  This was before vcr's, way before dvr's, before cable..so the best you could do was highlights on the Evening News.  I remember talking to other 2nd or 3rd graders about how cool it would be if there was a tiny TV you could wear like a wristwatch to keep up with the game, even in math class. 

This was the era of "The Jetsons", the cartoon we all watched in which the cars could fly, and you made dinner by pushing buttons on a machine, and a robot did the housework.  We thought all that stuff was right around the corner, why not a tiny, functional TV. You've been able to buy really small TVs for a long time, but they all need an antenna and they usually, (in my experience) don't work very well.  We wanted something with a live TV signal, just like at home, with no wires attached, and a perfect picture.  Here it comes

Below is a news release put out last week by Gray Television, which owns KKTV and about 30 other TV stations.

"Gray Television announced on Thursday that it has successfully launched a mobile DTV signal. Gray's mobile television project began at the company's NBC affiliate in Omaha, in late July and has gradually progressed so that the station's signal can be received on mobile devices directly from the transmitter.

WOWT video can be received virtually anywhere within the station's coverage area. "This is the future of the television industry," WOWT's President and GM Charlie Peterson said in a statement. "It's like having a television in your pocket," Jim Ocon, Gray's VP of Technology, said. "Imagine the possibilities during a storm. From an emergency alert perspective, I think it's going to be a must."

The technology uses a receiver chip to connect a mobile device to the station's transmitter. The receiver chip is not yet widely available but when it eventually is--Ocon said that they are currently being manufactured--a user will be able to access the news directly without going through a cable or phone service provider.

The technology is expected to be available to consumers early next year or possibly late this year."



OK, I really don't want this as badly now as I did 35 years ago, but I'll take it.  This is not like watching something you downloaded onto your i-pod. This sounds like real-time TV, perfect picture, wireless on any mobile device. 

Maybe when it's widely available I will get one made into a wristwatch. Maybe I'll use it to watch "The Jetsons".     I'm still waiting for the robot that does the housework.

We'll talk again soon.


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