A/V History To Age You

I was looking up some president + A/V facts Monday for our newsletter and came across some other interesting pieces of information that I thought I would share with you. This post is just for a bit of fun.


So, I was born in 1992. I was alive for just a few of these but have heard stories about a lot of these over the years from my parents and grandparents. So, I'm interested in what all you've lived through. Read this post and tell me about what you remember!


1933 - First Drive-In Theater

On June 6, Richard Hollingshead and his cousin opened the first drive-in theater (then named Automobile Movie Theater). This first theater accommodated 400 cars, had a screen size of 40 feet wide and 30 feet high, and cost 25 cents per car, plus an additional 25 cents per person. The theater cost around $30,000 (roughly $650k today) to construct. At the height of these theaters, there were about 4,600 across the country.



Have you ever gone to a drive-in theater? My childhood best friend and her parents would take us all the time. I still enjoy going. There is still one open in Columbus: South Drive-In. Give it a visit!


1954 - The First Color TV

Just 27 years before, the first TV was released. Now, RCA and Westinghouse are releasing the first color TVs! RCA released a 15-inch and 19-inch screen. Did you or your family get one of these when they were released? They were priced at $1,000 ($10,364 in today's money) and $1,295 ($13,422) respectively. Many houses didn't actually get one of these TVs until the 60s when more and more shows and movies were being filmed in color.



Have you ever watched a black and white TV? Were you alive during this transition? What was it like?


1968 - First Home Gaming System

Before the Nintendo, before the Atari, there was the Magnavox Odyssey. It had a total of 28 games available and many of them were for two players. The creator, Ralph Baer, said in the first year, this console sold around 100,000 times.



Another fun fact, he also created the hand-held game, Simon, with the company Milton Bradley in 1978.


Did you have either of these games?


1975 - First VCR Goes On Sale

Sony released the Betamax videocassette recorder in the US in June of 1975. It was created to record shows to watch later. The first "DVR," if you will. Universal Studios and the Walt Disney Company Hollywood sued Sony the following year because of "copyright infringement." This case lasted eight years! The Supreme Court decided that the right to record TV programs for personal use was allowed.



Also, 1976 was when the first VHS was introduced in Japan with the US following a year later. In the late 70s and throughout the 80s, there was a "format war" over Betamax and VHS. JVC went with its own format, which started this "war." There are a few theories as to why VHS beat Betas, but I'm not going to go into it. You can read the Wiki information on it.

Do you still have a VCR? My parents do, and there's also a DVD player attached. We haven't used it in at least 10 years.


1984 - Apple Unveils Macintosh

The ad for the first Apple home computer premiered in 1984 during Super Bowl XVIII. The sales exceeded $3 million after the commercial aired. Obviously, we all know what happened with Apple as most of us have some kind of Apple product.



So, when did you get your first home computer? And if you're an Apple user, when did you get your first product?


1991 - The World Wide Web Goes Live

The WWW is over 30 years old. Isn't that crazy? You can thank (or scorn) Tim Berners-Lee for it as he's known as the Father of the WWW.



What are your early memories of the internet? When did you start getting online?

We had AOL for a few years in the early to mid-2000s so I was (way too young) in AOL Instant Messenger Chatrooms and joining early social media sites (Xanga, anyone? MySpace?).


1997 - DVD Players go on sale

DVDs have an interesting start. At this time, VHS tapes were widely available, so DVDs should've been an easy release. However, that's not quite the case. Hollywood movie studios were concerned for copyright, again. Them raising their issues to companies like Sony delayed the release of this new format.



In 1993, several companies were working on expanding the development of CD technologies. Remember when I mentioned the VHS/Beta format war before? Well, all these companies did not want to deal with that again, so over the next few years, they worked on a common set of standards. And in 1995, they decided on one format for all DVDs.


Did you get a DVD player when they were newer or did you wait? Do you still use yours today?


1998 - Netflix is born

Remember getting DVDs in the mail from Netflix before they started streaming? The more popular it got, the more shipping hubs it placed around the US so you could get the movies faster. You could get up to three movies at once, unlimited movies a month, and keep them as long as you like all for a monthly fee.


Eventually, Netflix began online streaming. They offered plans for one or the other service, as well as a plan for both streaming and DVDs. Now they only offer the streaming service.



Sidenote: Blockbuster did not fail because of Netflix. Blockbuster failed because they were awful with money. They were keeping up with the times but failed because they couldn't afford it anymore.


Do you have Netflix? Are you an avid streamer? I haven't had cable for about five years. I just stream everything.


2000 - Super Bowl XXXIV is the first to be in HD

We're watching things in 4K, slowly working our way to 8K, but do you remember when HD started becoming popularized? ABC was the first major network to broadcast in HD in November 1998 but the Super Bowl wasn't shown in HD until 2000.



Nothing too special, but I thought it was pretty neat.


Do you remember the first time you watch something in HD?


2005 - YouTube is live

The first video was uploaded to YouTube on April 23, 2005, by Jawed Karim, one of its founders. It's a 19-second clip about him at the zoo. At the time of my writing this, it has 222,000,000+ views. You can see it here.



In May 2005, there was a public beta test. Nike was the first to receive a million views on one video. By December, there were about 8 million views a day. On December 15, YouTube was officially launched. Google acquired it for $1.6 billion a year later.

Some up-to-date pieces of information about YouTube:

  • 2.3 billion people use YouTube a month

  • there are 38 million active channels

  • YouTube accounts for about 25% of all mobile traffic.

Do you use YouTube? Are you subscribed to our channel?


Technology has exploded over a hundred years, and incredibly so in the last 20. What's your favorite piece of technology history?

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