Wright's Aerials

Satellite TV not feasible’ – Newton

As some of you will know I’ve always been fascinated by the possibility of time travel. Well last week I finally achieved it. The cost was considerable, as I had to use a full packet of good quality elastic bands and the working parts from a perfectly serviceable chemical toilet, not to mention six AA batteries and the mouthpiece from my grandad’s Salvation Army trumpet. It was worth the cost though, because amongst other benefits we now have Sir Isaac Newton staying at our house for a few days. We had Sir Isaac Walton as well, but it was fishing fishing fishing morning noon and night, so he had to go.

The first thing Newton noticed when he arrived was the living room TV, which was showing ‘The World’s Most Unfeasible Sexual Acts’ on Channel Five. As a great scientist he was of course far more interested in the technology than the programme material. I tried to explain how television works, and of course since Sir Isaac (or ‘Izzy’ as we call him) is a genius he was soon able to grasp the basic principles despite my very rudimentary explanation. He is very interested in the fundamentals of electricity, and was readily able to understand how, for instance, a battery can light a torch bulb. However, when I tried to explain that all the TV channels come down the same piece of coax from the dish he simply couldn’t accept it.

“So I am to believe that the shadows and colours on the screen, and the sounds issuing forth, merely follow the movement of electrons in a thin cord?” he scoffed. “My dear young sir, do you seriously think that the electrons in that metallic cord can co-ordinate themselves together so as to perform a dance of such intricacy? Why, you have shewed me some two hundred different theatres within your box, each with a different play, and every detail visible on each must be described. How can the electrons conduct such a phantasmagoria, all by their simple movements back and forth along a cord? And then there’s the sound! I tell you Sir, it is contrary to the most elementary reason! Torch bulbs yes, multichannel TV no!” With that Sir Isaac stomped off to the pub, turning at the door to yell “And I don’t believe all that about landing on the moon either!”

Can anyone provide an explanation of multichannel TV that might satisfy Sir Isaac?

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