January 6, 2013

TV size matters


Before you tell me I should subscribe to the high-definition channels offered by our local cable system with a special box and a premium price, my answer is that I’m not ready for that leap yet. My mind is already boggled and fershimmeled with all this newfangled technology. Heck, I didn’t even know if fershimmeled was a real word until I looked it up. One source said it was a very old Yiddish term that means “dirty or moldy.” I guess in my mother’s lexicon, it meant “confused.” Come to think of it, I’ve spent much of my life in that state.

I hope I live long enough for TV stations and TV sets to automatically make sure that every program, old or new, standard or high definition, fills the screen without distorting a camel so it looks like an elephant.

Kaye and I had a nice dinner downtown recently. There were numerous, wide-screen sets around the place. I checked all of them and noticed that the pictures didn’t fill the screen in a single instance. At our house, the screen is pretty full, but having forced the images to expand, I sometimes lose the tiny scores and headlines that scroll across the bottom. I don’t care. I’m leaving it the way it is.

Sound? That’s another issue altogether. We have a new law on the books that, in theory, prohibits any station from broadcasting commercials louder than the show content. Do you mind if I laugh out loud? I’ve been monitoring area stations and have noticed almost no effort to keep sound consistent. Up, down, up, down like a teeter-totter.

It’s a good thing we have remotes (Kaye calls them “clickers”) by our chairs to adjust the volume. In the old days, we had to walk over to the set to change channels or loudness.

And how was your holiday? Have a Happy New Year and please, drive carefully.

Gordie Little was for many years a well-known radio personality in the North Country and now hosts the “Our Little Corner” television program for Home Town Cable. Anyone with comments for him may send them to the newspaper or email him at

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