Monday, November 16, 2009

T.V war

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.

1 comment:

  1. Technology Philosophy

    Tivo, Beta, VCR, CD's, cassettes, DVR's, digital pixels, High Definition, cable, Satallite, and Ipod's addiction; My time has come to buy the latest: boombox, flatscreen, but what I really hate is, the fact I can act like the consumer we all know; can make the technological show all grow, to the point we either annoint or disappoint the system, by not buying the latest entertainment wisdom. My whole relief is with a retreat from the pain, as a belief we can defeat the latest and greatest thing, yet in vain, to see the world as evolving from the disturbing condition, called economic support for more of the corporate infliction. Let us all step back and lower our standard of living, equal to the people hungry as well as giving. Simply put, we need to sustain the world in which we share, without a greed to feed the moment in which we are aware we need to care.

    Peace and love, Daryl