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Is your TV really smart?
Howard Lestrud, Contributing Writer
smart tv, Reflections, column

We often hear references to Smart TV. Is your TV really smart?

Reading the Internet, we learn "Unlike cable or satellite boxes, they connected to the internet, found and received the IP streams and converted them to a video format that could then be selected as an input to the TV.

"Among the first to do that were the early products from Roku starting in 2008. They did mostly one thing: access Netflix, a then fledgling streaming service."

I think I have a Smart TV but it doesn't function well unless it is trained.

I'm still in training, I guess.

A Smart TV, the way I understand it will provide you a streaming service that will give you comprehensive coverage of news, sports and entertainment.

I vividly remember getting our first black and white television. It was in 1954 when the big RCA box came to our home. All of the TV pictures at that time came in black and white.

But before we could watch television, we had to get a ginormous antenna attached to  the roof of our house. It was a major operation to affix the antenna to our rooftop.

I can remember some of the early TV shows that our family watched: Major League Baseball, All-Star Wrestling, the Red Skeleton Show, Jackie Gleason, Carol Burnet and of course, Walt Disney. We also watched some entertaining cowboy shows.

With our high-powered antenna, we could tune into Twin Cities channels, 4 and 11. I remember being addicted to Dave Moore's Bedtime Nooz on WCCO-TV.

In 1957, we began to watch space launches. Some of the United States' attempt to beat Russia in the space race were foiled by faulty launches. I remember seeing the Vanguard rocket tumble on the launching pad.

We then saw Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarian become the first human to make it into space. Alan Shepard became America's first space man.

I loved to watch these space spectacles, which were later embellished by a hit show, Star Trek.

We were all stunned on Nov. 22, 1963 when our nation's President John F. Kennedy was assassinated before our eyes. This wall-to-wall news coverage set the tone for news to come in the 21st century.

Back to space, we saw Neil Armstrong step foot on the moon on July 20, 1969.

I remember our household being devastated when a tube would blow. Rather than call a TV repairman, my dad thought he could become our in-house repairman. He pulled out some tubes and moved them around but to no avail.


My dad finally relented and called for a repairman from Blooming Prairie. The repairman, I believe a Mr. Johnson, pulled off the back of the TV and made this assessment: "Someone has been monkeying with your TV."

Nobody in our household confessed but the repairman had the last words: "Don't Touch."

I also remember our first color TV. I think that arrived in 1959. We loved to watch Walt Disney shows, my favorite being Davy Crockett. I also was a Zorro fan.

The color was really vivid when we watched the red Kansas City Chiefs defeat the Purple heads of the Minnesota Vikings in the Super Bowl.

Television has changed greatly over the years, not only with technology but also with content.

It still amazes me that you can ask the TV to turn itself on and off. As often is the case, the smart TV usually wins arguments of "What do we do when the signal leaves?”

Call Mr. Johnson, I guess.

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