In an era of Netflix and instant streaming, it’s easy to forget how far televisions have come.
Before portable devices and 5G streaming, big, bulky analog units dominating a room were how the Western world watched TV and movies.
Now, a viral video from 1999 has caused a wave of sentimentality on the big screen and left Generation Z in shock at how expensive the units used to be.
While owners can now spend less than £200 for a 40-inch flat screen, just over two decades ago they would have to spend thousands of dollars for the flashiest model.
A viral clip posted on Twitter has shown Generation Z what television was like at the beginning of the century.
The owners invited their friends to a New Year’s Eve party in 2000, who were amazed by the expensive setup.
The clip, posted to X (formally known as Twitter) by @NostalgiaFolder, shows a group of friends arriving at a house party to welcome the millennium.
The now-viral tweet read: “Guy shows off his new $5,000 TV to his friends at a New Year’s Eve party in 2000.”
Greeting his friends at the New Year celebrations, the owner said he had a “surprise” for them.
“I think they’re going to be surprised,” said the proud owner of the TV as his friends gaped in disbelief.
The bulky television sat on a wooden cabinet in the owner’s basement, while an artist sang on the screen.
Amazed by the unit, one of his friends asked: ‘How much did it cost you?’ commenting that it must have cost him $10,000.
The man said he paid “close” to the estimated price, claiming he bought it for $5,000 (£4,000) at BestBuy.
Since it was posted, the video has racked up an impressive 5 million views and hundreds of comments from
The viral tweet has garnered 5 million views since it was posted, in a follow-up clip the men predicted the future.
Twitter users were shocked by how much technology has “improved” in the last two decades and shocked by how much TVs used to cost.
One user commented: ‘It really puts into perspective how drastically and quickly technology has changed and improved. Actually, that wasn’t that long ago, all things considered.
Another added: “I can’t imagine how hard it was to get him down the basement stairs without him falling.” People don’t remember how incredibly heavy televisions were back then.
In a follow-up clip, the group of men predicted that there would be flying cars by 2010 and one of them showed off his new Nokia mobile phone.
Many TVs have dropped in price in recent years – according to ElectronicWorld, a Toshiba TV with a 49.1-inch screen would have cost £895 in 2012, but Toshiba smart TVs with similar features of a similar price can be found for as little as £269 .99.
The website attributes the decline to various reasons, from technological advances to the growth of technology companies.
He explains that each advance in TV models makes older models less desirable, allowing prices to drop.
The website states: ‘The price trend for televisions has gone from being an unaffordable luxury to a standard fixture in most homes. Prices are so low that many households across the UK have more than one device.