Netflix engineer has created website that captures the television experience of the past decade
If you’re a naturally nostalgic soul who grew up on old modes of entertainment like cable TV, this age-by-age portal created by Netflix engineer Joey Cato is for you.. From the 1960s to the 2000s, the experience of each era imitates the technological marvels of that era.. Called “My Retro TVs,” the virtual websites were created by Cato as a way to “win back his youth,” he told us.
Each era displays great pop culture moments from that period, complemented by an equally compelling interface.. For example, tuners reminiscent of early 1960s televisions are beautifully mimicked on the website, making the whole experience immersive.
That’s not all, for every era between the 1960s and 2000s there are several genres of content available to watch on the My Retro TVs website – ranging from cartoons, comedy, drama, kids, talk -shows even advertisements! Essentially, there is something for anyone who seems tired of a remote control-sized screen abyss in their pockets.
If you were born before the 2000s, chances are you’ve experienced some form of TV fatigue – from loss of signal to endless repetitions and lack of flexibility. Each commercial meant a pee break, and each repeat TV show offered a chance to become a master of the knowledge of that particular series.
If music is what defined your childhood, Joey Cato went the extra mile to soak up classics from each era in his portal. Do you think things are not getting better? Cato has news for you. Within the website dedicated to each epoch, there are other demarcations based on each year, which can help you narrow down your preferences. Although a search button appears to be missing, it is simply to help make the experience more realistic.
The inspiration behind my retro televisions
We caught up with Joey Cato about the inspiration behind creating My Retro TV. The first platform of the project focused on the 80s. “I have always been deeply connected with nostalgia for that period,” he told us. Joey Cato also spoke about the role his childhood and education played in creating the digital experience. “I grew up poor in a small town, so I always felt like I was missing out on all the pop culture experiences,” he said.
When Cato was working on My Retro TVs, he was already on his knees in other big projects, like The Sims 4 from Electronic Arts. “[At this time] I realized that the Flash technology we were using to create our interfaces was starting to get more and more obsolete, so I thought it was a good time to refresh my CV by learning modern web development ”, a- he told Indiatimes by e-mail.
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A series of his side projects came forward under the name My80sTv. “The original web app quickly became popular, which completely surprised me. It was a pure joy to hear people from all over the world tell me how much the site had linked them to when they were children.” These comments inspired him to create flashbacks based on the era “adding more decades (90s, 70s, 00s and more recently 60s).”
Naturally, Netflix’s future-ready streaming capabilities have changed Cato’s understanding of how modern content is consumed. “I think this may be partly due to how the growing popularity of streaming content has shifted the traditional concept of ‘channel click / surf’. “
A fascinating recreation of pop culture, era by era
With MyRetroTVs, Cato was simply trying to “give users the ability to access these ancient forms of discovery and interaction” with an 80s bias. “A diehard 80s fan here,” Cato told us. while adding that “the 90s have recently grown [on him] like a fine wine. ”Cato believes that much of this change can be attributed to“ recency bias ”as memories of the 80s continue to fade with age. If you ask us, the 80s will live on forever, at least on My80sTV if not in pop culture.
All of MyRetroTVs’ content is sourced entirely from Youtube, “much of which is now crowdsourced.” For each channel, there is a corresponding YouTube clip that helps it to function.
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To make the experience more lived-in and realistic, Cato had the brilliant idea of imbibing a “static overlay transition during channel changes”. This, according to Cato, not only makes the MyRetroTVs experience “more authentically immersive”, but helps cover the buffering time on the portals.
Mimicking the experience of live television is no easy journey and Joey Cato has made changes and modifications to help create the perfect repertoire for those who are perpetually nostalgic. For example, to ensure that the experience goes as “live”, Cato tracks the timestamp of each channel visited “so that if a user returns to it later, the elapsed time is added and the video resumes at the right position “.
As with all technologies, MyRetroTVs is a constant work in progress. Recently, Cato added a series of CSS filters to give users “more granular control over image quality” with more to come. You can access “MyRetroTVs” here with a user guide organized by Cato himself.
Personally, we are biased towards My90sTV. What is your favorite era – through the eyes of Joey Cato? Share your choice with us in the comments below. For more compelling content in the world of tech and science, keep reading Indiatimes.com.