Shortly after I explained to Emerita, 9, just how hilarious Lucille Ball was even in black and white, the family meal-chat turned to television. Not just the content, but the contraption that broadcasts gems like “I Love Lucy.”

In Emerita’s long and rich nine years on Earth, she has experienced first TV remotes, then voice commands that change channels and sound on big colorful, ever-growing screens.

“We used to have to get up and walk across the room to change the channel or adjust the volume,” I offered as proof of our remote-less existence.

“Oh,” she replied. “We only have to get up to get the remote.”

It was about time I gave her a lesson on what TV was like during Daddyo’s youth. So I told her about all this:

We had a 13-inch black-and-white TV that expanded to about 48 inches if you include the Martian-like antenna. These eye-pokers had to be manually shifted about to attract the best airwaves.

My wife Jen had it worse in her native Philippines where TV antennas were lashed to bamboo poles to extend their height. When the screen got assaulted by static or vanished, a family member would scamper up a ladder to the roof and set the bamboo to a different heading.

Anyhow, our 13-incher had two round dials: One designated for the usual VHF stations like CBS, NBC, ABC and PBS, while the second dial was permanently docked at UHF channels 27, 38, 44, 56 and 68.

I don’t recall most of the UHF shows other than the most important thing on TV was right there on channel 38 – the Boston Bruins. We didn’t need an account with the local cable provider or Pay-Per-View or access to a satellite. And it was free. Just good ol’ brawlin’ on blades. And announcers Fred Cusick and Johnny Peirson coming at us in crystal-clear monotone.

More than once I’d plunk down to watch a Bruins game with my father who would holler at the refs and players with such frequency and volume, I’d scamper down the hall to watch the same game on the B&W just so I could focus on the B’s without the distractions. As you guessed, Dad loved the Bruins and offered three periods of color commentation.

“That Bobby Orr can skate better than I can walk!” he’d declare each time #4 killed an entire penalty by himself.

One day we inherited a Hitachi color TV set from Grammy Whipple. The thing was enormous – nearly 19 inches from corner to corner! We worshipped it like it were the Jumbotron of Howe Street. You changed channels by touching silver buttons in a column. Annoyingly, the buttons were futuristic sensors that required a finger or heat to make the button work. Afflicted with Chronic Lazy Teen Syndrome (CLTS), my brother Bruce and I spent way too many hours attempting to change channels without leaving the couch.

One such harebrained method involved a chain of wooden pencils jammed tip-to-eraser where Bruce and I took turns trying to stab the TV buttons from across the room with our 7-foot #2 lance. We’d sit through hours of crummy shows just to try to change the channel without actually touching the sensors.

Now, if two TVs were great, then three boob tubes would be simply grand, figured my dad.

“If Zenith can build big colorful televisions, why can’t I?” he pondered. So one fine day in the mid-1970s my father brought home a build-your-own television kit. You read that right – a homemade television kit. As a boy outsmarted by Legos, I was flabbergasted that a lone human armed with just a soldering iron and pliers hunched at a dining room table could get within a few years of creating a working TV. I think the project would have worked regardless of the instructions written in Japanese, but Mom thought the table would be better suited as a table than an electronics lab.

My brother’s dining room table still sits in the same spot … minus the screen, wires, tubes and enough electronics for NASA to grant us Preferred Vendor status.

In the 1980s, our cyborg Hitachi received an upgrade: a plastic numbered panel about a foot wide connected to our TV via a long white wire. A small level slid along the panel to the number you wanted. While we assumed this contraption was invented to piss off our parents by whipping the lever back and forth to create machine gun sounds, it would also serve as a capable channel selector.

With far fewer channels to choose from than we have today, we sought shows featuring dukes for mom; hazard for dad; both plus a General Lee Dodge Charger for the maniac sons.

These days, our aging TV requires one remote to turn it on, another to change the channels, a third to operate the sound bar and a fourth, called a Firestick, allegedly does tricks when you speak to it. I generally miss the first quarter of the Patriots coordinating all these contraptions.

My birthday is this month and all I want is a roof antenna, a length of bamboo and a really tall ladder.