As CRT Television maxed out about 15 years ago (at 33″), manufacturers sought new technologies for larger screens. One of them was the Rear Projection TV.
However to me, it was at best a desperate attempt to squeeze the last drop of juice from an antiquated set of know-how. The screens were large, no doubt; with sizes going up to 60 inches diagonal (maybe even larger). But they were huge boxes. And the resolution, clarity and contrast were poor, to say the least. Perhaps there was consolation to the owners who could demonstrably and unmistakably prove to their neighbours and visitors that they were people who could see the big picture….LOL.
I contemplated buying a set before, but the thought of having an Incredible Bulk of a box eating up half my living room was simply unbearable.
But they had the last laugh..all the way to the bank…after fishing out our hard-earned money while we ‘pretended’ not to know it. Apa nak buat ? Life was kinda tough in those days (as compared to today) and therapeutic hardship diversions were few and far in between.
As the poor folks soaked in their favorite reality-escape fixes and got their hallucinatory-cum-delusionary highs, operators in the backroom were busy spinning reels of film.
No regrets though, we enjoyed many epic movies that were screened in the Rexes, Capitols, Odeons, Cathays, etc, and many people went gaga over the movie stars, both males and females.
Those were the heydays of the big-screen duo, viz., Cathay and Shaw. Shaw was a much larger outfit, with dozens of many cinemas throughout Malaysia and Singapore.
It happened in 1968 or so. Succumbing to the sweet persuasion of a Rediffusion salesman, we subscribed to this novel “Cable Audio” entertainment service, for a grand sum of RM7 per month.
Installation came with a speaker box and a 2-channel selector/volume control switch. Channel A was called the Gold Network and B, the Silver Network.
Habis lah ! Thenceforth we were held hostage by the numerous (more like endless) highly addictive stories, talk shows and fabulous songs & music, in Hokkien, Cantonese,Teochew, and English. (Can’t remember if there were Malay or Tamil programs).
That notwithstanding, all the silver tales and golden fables could not fend off the onslaught of competing technologies, and also failed to satiate ever-changing entertainment cravings. I believe the service has ceased; but memories linger.
My friends asked me whether I have watched The Phantom of the Opera – I said I started to watch only perhaps about 30 years ago, and ever since I have been watching it or them almost like once a week or so. LOLX !
On quite many occasions, I got startled when the actress showed up unexpectedly as I walked into my bedroom or bathroom. I fell off my bed during the first encounter.
Years later, ever since my daughter got out of school, I got to see more episodes on two different channels now……
In any case, I prefer the Contemporary to the Classic…hehehe