Here's What Watching Movies Would've Looked Like on Cellphones 20 Years Ago

GIF: YouTube

We take for granted the ability to pull out our smartphones and watch almost any video imaginable in hi-def resolutions. But back in 1998, the Nokia 5110 represented the cutting-edge of cellphone technology, and this is what it would’ve been like to watch YouTube and other videos on its terrible screen.

The folks at YouTube’s Science Nurd first had to connect the 5110's awful 84x48-pixel monochrome LCD screen to an Arduino to get a proper frame rate, because as basic as that tiny hackable computer is, its processor is lightyears beyond what you’d find powering the Nokia 5110. Twenty years ago seeing full-motion video on a cellphone would’ve blown our minds, but today it looks like barely a step beyond cave paintings. Now please excuse me while I go hug my iPhone.

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[YouTube via Geekologie]

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DISCUSSION

robshapiro002
robshapiro002

You say ‘would’ve looked like’ - apparently you didn’t live in the 80's They sold video camera systems for kids that did this very thing. (Pixelvision, and they are quite sought after today!) we had these videos on our Commodore 64s, this was the technology of the time. And we loved it.