Mk 0. The Dawn of Man
Already as a kid, I was fascinated (many good texts start like this :-) by electronic equipment, connecting everything with an input and/or an output together. As a student, the word for high-tech was "Hi-Fi" (computers came later), and I put a substantial amount of my purchases on audio equipment. Already in in 1976 I made the first step in direction of "Home-Theater", connecting the (monophonic) sound of my (color!) TV to my stereo amplifier! (There was a considerable amount of hum, I remember...). My first turntable, Thorens TD150/II, which was also my first real Hi-Fi component was purchased in 1972, somewhat modified, many parts replace, still is the one I am using. Swiss quality... It appears like the old Thoren's players have a bit of cult status...
The original arm and stylus were replaced by a SME Model 3009 Series II Improved (imported from England by a friend) and ADC XLM MKII stylus.
Years went by, "stereo equipment" meant a turntable, an amplifier/receiver, possibly a reel-to-reel tape recorder or a cassette deck, two large speakers, optionally ear phones. (The electrostatic earphones I bought in 1982 (for 695 SEK) Stax SR-X Mark 3 are still in use.) (Photo.) The clearness of its sound indeed remarkable — unfortunately it also means that it is extremely revealing for, e.g., cracks from a vinyl record. The term "quadraphonic sound" showed up in the journals I read at that time, but I never had a chance to listen to it before it vanished.
It took until 1992 until I bought my first CD player (Marantz CD-42, still in use in my bedroom setup, although the tray load/unload mechanism is broken due to a broken plastic gear). Shortly, it was followed by my first A/V-component: a video recorder (Panasonic NV-F55). Super, now I could receive TV programs in stereo, over my stereo equipment! (Already in 1992, many of the interesting TV programs were already in stereo.) As is often the case, an improvement reveals shortcomings in other components, thus a new TV was due: In 1993 the Philips 28ML8805 was purchased, one of the first 100Hz models. (This TV was in use (although several times repaired) until mid 2008, see below.)
I also manage to get a subscription to the German pay-TV service Premiere. At this time, that meant an analog pay-TV decoder (permuting the scan lines).
Continue to Mk1. The Pro Logic/Laserdisk Period...