Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Receiving signals?

The moment I saw the name of this building, it reminded me of television. That was even before I noticed the image between the 'E' and the 'K', which convinced me that Beekay was indeed a brand of.... no, not TVs, but something to do with them. Voltage stabilizers? Antennas? Memory is vague.

Not the memory of the antennas. None of us would have seen them in the past twenty years. But once upon a time, they proclaimed to the world, "this house has a television". The first ones were just 3 aluminium tubes, short ones at each end and the long one in the centre bent into a kind of double-tube. Within the city, these were fastened onto a pole that was raised maybe 3-4 feet above the highest point of the building. The further you went out of the city, the higher the pole rose; I remember seeing some about 20 feet tall at Polur, near Vellore, about 120km away from Madras. 

But then, Rupavahini happened. Some folks began receiving signals from the Sri Lankan broadcaster - they seemed to have much better programming than good old Doordarshan - and everyone wanted a piece of the action. No one knew how the physics worked, but everyone was convinced that you needed more height and more aluminium tubes if you had to get signals from Sri Lanka. There was a mad rush to get better antennas; it was during that phase that one saw antennas like the one in the picture get popular. Maybe that was how Beekay made their money - does anyone know for sure why that antenna is part of the Beekay logo?

No comments: