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Technology News Timeline 1970 - 1979

1971 stereo

1970 - Heard - an ad for a "toll free" number? That's right. It's been around for a year - but something called an "800" toll-free is here. There's a catchy radio commercial for Sheraton hotels that sings, "8-0-0... 3-2-5... 3-5-3-5." It's the first time an 800 number has been given this much attention and listeners are saying, "what kind of number is that?" (Click Here) ...  More and more FM rock stations can be found. These stations play album rock 'n roll as more younger people are discovering FM stereo radio... Also in telephone service - numbers such as ME-1 4325 are being replaced by just numbers - in this case - 631-4325... Sony introduces "Trinitron" - a new kind of color picture tube that helps with flesh tones - a big problem for color TV sets... New home taping format called "EVR" is out (it never caught on)... Citizen Band radio (27MHZ) is becoming more popular. Unlike Ham radio - you don't have to take a licensing test. Many are using it for hobby and chat... Click Here For More 1970 Technology 

The Symbol For The Beginnings Of Color-TV Ends

technology news timeline 1972 telephone booth1971 - NBC stops using its color peacock before TV shows. NBC's TV sked has been full-color since 1966 and it's redundant...   Catching on - portable cassette tape recorders - now, you can record music off the radio... Looks like video formats for the home are heating up with several tape playback cartridge formats are ready for market... A company called "Intel" puts out the first microprocessor chip - the 4004. It's not the first integrated circuit - but - it is the first time anybody put the central parts of a computer (CPU and memory) on a small, tiny chip... Cable-TV - if you live in a rural area - chances are you have some cable-TV. Some import TV stations from far away, giving more choices than an antenna (for example WNEW-TV, WPIX-TV in New York City - offering off-network re-run programming - can be seen upstate on cable-systems - where there are no such stations.) Stations are imported using microwave towers...   Click Here For More 1971 Technology

A Telephone Booth Inspires a Huge Hit With "Sylvia's Mother"

1972 -  Sears introduces "Cartridge TV" - it won't last - but - there's a big movement for TV content on tape or cartridge, as CBS is stilling hanging in there with their EVR format which they claim, has 600 movie titles available... FM radio seems to be working better in cars with better radios/tuners. One of the big drawbacks with FM in cars is something called "picket fencing" whereby the signal goes in and out quickly. That problem is being solved - quickly... Looks like technology inspires a song as "Sylvia's Mother" - a song about a guy making a call from a telephone booth - becomes a major top pop hit..It looks like 8-Track tapes and players are becoming pretty popular... Cable-TV - A new channel debuts that'll feature first-run movies - HBO. Available on cable-TV systems only.  It's beamed to CATV systems by way of microwave towers, or special wide-band phone lines.... A new kind of computer - a personal computer - is demonstrated by Xerox. It's called the "Alto" and it's going to change our lives... 

Video For The Alto

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1973 - Using his own hybrid system to receive and transmit (set up in an apartment) - Inventor Martin Cooper makes a cellphone call from a NYC street. The cell (is in an apartment) (It would take another 10 years for analog cell phone service to begin)...  Showing up at stores - high-power electronic caculators with LED readouts... Also seen and a cool gimmick - LED wristwatches..Four-Channel quad audio is out. You'll need 4 speakers and two stereo amplifers! You can get it on some record albums, 8-track tapes and (some) FM stereo stations are beginning to broadcast in quad (it won't last long as consumers are getting use to stereo or two channels)...  

Lafayette Electronics - Stereos, Radios, CB's

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1974 - Subscription (over-the-air) TV expanding with services such as "On-TV" and Wometco (WHT).  Services use licensed UHF-TV stations that scramble picture (usually at night) for premium service. For example - In NYC you can watch channel 68 with regular programming such as "Uncle Floyd" - but - at 8pm - the picture scrambles for subscribers - and - it'll begin to run new movies.  No cable is needed - just a UHF antenna.  (this service would go away by the early 1980's as more households turn to cable and premium channels for this type of service - but for now - it's a good way to get newer movies on your television...

The Betamax Video Cassette Recorder/Player Is Here!

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1975 - Great gift for high school students - a combo stereo phono AM/FM radio (stereo FM) with 8-Track player that also re-cords! Re-cord your phonograph records (45's or albums) or re-cord what's coming off the radio... Sony introduces the Betamax videocassette. It'll help revolutionize home videotaping and playback. But, watch out - rival VHS is about to come out and - although - it won't match the quality of Betamax, it'll win the home videotaping and playback war... The Citizens band radio craze has hit big... many are using the radios as hobby - to make new friends - including truck drivers. CB has it's own lingo and - the technology has spawned a #1 pop hit - "Convoy" - a song about trucker's using CB radio...

Click Here "Convoy" - C.W. McCoy 

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1976 -  Computer hobbyists Steve Jobs (21) and Steve Wozniak - founders of tiny Apple Computer, release the Apple 1 personal computer.  Price is just over $600.00. Has its own keyboard, but you'll need your TV for a monitor...  Popular trend - gaming arcades... Gaming for the home - Coleco "Telstar" - just plugs into your television... Computer geek Bill Gates - from a new company called "Microsoft" gives a speech at the First Annual World Altair Computer Convention in Albuquerque- where the company is located.

 Click Here For More 1976 Technology

 

1977 - Interesting trend - modular jacks begin to replace hard-wire installations for home telephones. Now, you can plug your phone in-and-out of the wall, instead of being tied to the wall with phone wire (that you can not disconnect)... Warner Cable begins a new interactive (two-way) cable-TV service called "Qube"... WTCG-TV (channel 17 UHF) in Atlanta now offers its independent programming to cable systems around the country. It uses one of the RCA TV satellites (Satcom 2) to provide feeds (this is the beginning of the cable-TV "superstation" era)...

WTCG-TV Video - How Satellite Uploads/TV Works!

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large cassette 1978 technology news 1978 - Audience Erosion - FM finally catches up to AM in radio audience - 50/50. The big news - giant contemporary music staton, WABC radio in New York - loses big to a new competitor - disco-WKTU-FM. (this is the beginning of the end for AM music radio - especially contemporary music stations. By 1982 - most will have switched to either talk or "older" music formats.)...Big trend in homes - the microwave oven. Looks like sales are going up - with no end in sight... Seen, something called the L-Cassette tape (Large Cassette) (for audio). It looks like a giant cassette (on steroids) and promises better quality - closer to a reel-to-reel tape deck.  Will it catch on? (no)... For fast photo/picture developement - Fotmat "huts" are showing up in all kinds of shopping centers. Drop your film off - pick it up the next day. They seem to be everywhere...  In Chicago - the Bell Telephone system begins testing of a new kind of mobile phone technology called (AMPS) "Advanced Mobile Phone System" - later changed to cell phone... 

 Click Here For More 1978 Technology

Bell Telephone Begins Testing A Cell Phone System

 

technology news timeline 1978 fotomat1979 FM radio now reaches more people than AM - the first time in radio history (AM shares would keep eroding)... The TRS-80 from Radio Shack is the biggest selling personal computer (for now)... Ronco turns an FM radio transmitter into a gimmick to pick-up girls - or - to make an impression with friends with "Mr. Microphone"... 

Mr Microphone Commercial

Click Here For More 1979 Technology

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Contact author Gary West

 
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