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1981 Data Coming To a TV Near You (A Fun Retrospective)

March 8th, 2010 Michael McDonough

Recently I have found plenty of enjoyment looking through old Popular Science magazines online.  Today I came across an article from 1981 in which the author was very serious about a new service rolling out that would deliver data directly to your TV via phone lines or antennas (traffic, scores, weather, etc…).  I am assuming back in 1981 this technology was eventually superseded by computers and the internet, but comparing it to the functions of today’s Tivos, digital cable boxes, and other TV hardware, this article couldn’t have rang more true if penned in 2001 (20 years after it was originally published).  Better late than never I suppose.  The article goes into detail about the pros and cons of three competing services that will all be vying for your business.  But, in any case enjoy some screen shots:

Take a look at the interface…  (Looks like the Giants still couldn’t catch a break):

There’s more:  (Fresh Direct 1.0?):

Sources: http://www.popsci.com/archive-viewer

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