Okay, I went and did it. I bought a T.V.
Faithful readers will know that the new digital converter box has been a bane of my existence. Last month, the picture on my screen broke up, and it turned out that a wire on the converter box was impossibly loose. If I bought a new box, it would be my third in less than five months, and the government coupons are pretty much gone. So I bit the bullet, went to Target (NOT Walmart, even if it’s cheaper!) and, after sitting there for an hour, bought a 22-inch LCD high-def television (plus an extended warranty) for a good price, putting it on my credit card, figuring I’ll pay it off.
I have to come out (again!) and say that I love the T.V. The picture is stunning! For the first time in my life, I have a T.V (on its own) with a crystal clear picture, with no static or fuzz at all, even on PBS. Period. (Yes, I have friends who say I shouldn’t watch T.V - "Kill your T.V" as the bumper says - and others who say I should watch it on my computer, but there are shows I like, and I like to watch them on a television in my living room.)
There has been one big problem, though. I can’t record. One of the things that drove me crazy with the converter box is that it severely limited my ability to tape programs. I tend to tape programs and really like being able to do so. With my V.C.R, I can watch videos and D.V.Ds, but I can’t record. It took at least five hours and exactly five lesbians (at one point, they were all here at once - yikes!) to figure out that my V.C.R couldn’t do the job and that I need something else.
The something else isn’t at Target, so I went to Best Buy - twice - and got very confused - twice. It doesn’t help that Best Buy is a confusing, loud place. Many of the devices that record - D.V.Rs - require a monthly service, like TiVo, that come with a bunch of stuff (football games, movies, whatever) that I don’t want. I did buy a TiVo device, because it wasn’t too expensive, but, despite the guy at the store answering my many questions and assuring me otherwise (I guess I shouldn’t trust a guy dressed up - it was Halloween - as a superhero who looks like a weeks-old balloon), it turned out that it worked only with cable T.V, and I had to return it AND cancel the service. (I was just glad my attendant didn’t murder me!) The TiVo device that doesn’t require a cable T.V (no, I don’t want cable!) is considerably more expensive, and it turns out that a plain D.V.R - without a monthly service and which will record programs later or while I’m watching another one - is even more expensive, costing more than what I paid more for the T.V.
Do I regret getting the television. No. I can watch videos and D.V.Ds, and I don’t have to put up with the converter box. But I still really want to tape, and I will keep my eye out for a D.V.R and may well bite the bullet again and buy one. Also, I can’t help thinking there’s something I’m missing, wonder if people on fixed or low incomes just can’t record programs and wish that I just had what I had before we had to get digital T.V.