Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Digital Nightmare

Well I have certainly had a frustrating couple of days! First I finally gave in and bought a digital tv with a built in HD tuner. Up until now I have refused. When the Government tells me they are going to be changing the system and I have to either replace all of my tvs or stick a set top box on all of them just so I can continue to watch mindless garbage, boring crap, mountains of infomercials and countless loud blaring ads, I get a little rebellious. While everyone has been out replacing their equipment, I have been continuing to watch my trusty old analog. But then the day came when the remote broke. I like to mute the ads because I don't need creepy people screaming at me to buy their stuff so I was heartbroken (and annoyed) at the loss. I bought one of those universal remotes. After tuning it in, I discovered it only worked on 2 channels and the mute and the volume buttons wouldn't work. It would have been funny if it wasn't so frustrating.

So I took it back to the store where the woman acted as though I was lying. 'Never had any trouble with these before' she said. 'Well you have now' I said. The remote I had bought was the top of the line one. I figured if that wasn't going to work one of the cheaper ones probably wouldn't either and did I want to waste that amount of my life trying to find out? So it was with a heavy heart I headed for the electronics store.

Now before I am accused of selling out and going against my convictions, I will state that I only bought a small one. It was for the bedroom anyway and I don't want a huge one in there. Thus far, I have not had any experience with digital television so I wasn't sure what to expect. I bought it home, took it out of the box, plugged it in, tuned it in. Except it wouldn't tune in. I kept trying and kept trying. For 2 hours I tried to tune the thing in, plugging in aerials, unplugging aerials, hooking it through the VCR (yes I still have one of those too)....they don't tell you about this on the ads. Finally, right before I had to go to pick the kids up from school, the channels appeared on the screen. They kept flashing on and off in a pixelating frenzy but they were there all the same. Sweet relief! I turned it off and went and picked up the kids.

We got home and all raced into my bedroom, having told the kids about it on the way and them getting way overexcited. I turned the tv on. No channels! After messing about with it for the whole night and half the next day, I realised that the channels would only tune in if the tv was on for about 2 hours and they would stay there as long as you never turned the tv off! I rang the store and asked if this was normal. They said it sounded like it was faulty so off to the store I go again. When I got it there the guy said (and I promise I'm not even making this up) 'Never had trouble with these tv's before'. 'That's what they all say' I said.

So I bought the new tv home. This time the channels tuned in straight away. Sweet! Then I notice that there is no channel 10. Since my favourite shows like Law & Order and Supernatural are on channel 10, there is going to be one moody cow in this house if there is no channel 10! I'm told I should use an aerial with an amplifier. Excellent because I already own an aerial with an amplifier. Plug it in, no good. I'm told I should go get a digital aerial. Back to the store I go. There I'm told that the best picture would come from an outdoor antenna. I have an outdoor antenna. Its not connected but its there. I'm told I need about 30m of coax cable and an assortment of connectors. I buy these items, get on the roof, connect the coax to the antenna, run the cable through the roof, try to get it down my wall to come out the bottom but it gets stuck on insulation and framing inside the wall so I just drill a hole through the ceiling and lower the cable through. Still no channel 10. Hours and hours pass of rearranging wires, repositioning cables, attaching and reattaching plugs and thing-a-majigs. Still no channel 10. I'm told I need a digital antenna which will cost me another $200+. They didn't mention this when they were advertising the exciting world of digital.

So now I have no channel 10, an overly pixelating channel 9 and horrible reception on the non-digital channels. But at least I have a remote....

RIP old analog tv. I will miss you....


  1. Aw! Sorry for your troubles! I cant believe that you have stuck with analog for all this time...maybe you just had a feeeling! I hope you figure it all out! Good luck, feel better :)

  2. OMG- poor you!! Absolutely ridiculous isn't it. I think you should insist they come and sort it out for you.

  3. Wow! What a time you had, eh? I felt tired just reading about all the things you did trying to get it to work... although it did make a funny image in my head. lol. Hope you get it working right soon and all your favorite channels come in. That CAN be frustrating. We've yet to buy an HD tv. Just using the government appointed digital box on our old one. lol.

  4. THat sounds so frustrating! I'm glad I don't have to take care of that stuff. My husband is really handy with digital TV's and makes it look really easy.

  5. What a pain!! Ugh! How frustrating. I am no good in this age of technology. Totally useless with all of it.
    As for not wearing white after Labor Day...I have no idea. I've read that it might have something to do with class issues in the 19th century, but I don't really know. However, it mostly pertains to shoes, like no white pumps after Labor Day. And I think it isn't as big of a fashion no-no as it used to be.

  6. You don't have to have a digital antenea. They lied to you. You have to find out what direction the signal for channel 10 is coming from and make sure the antenna is aimed that way...that's all! Liars!
    We just bought a digital converter box. We use our old non digital antenna that sit on top of our tv. We have an outdoor antenna like you do. Hubby hooked it up and we get all the channels but one. That's because the antenna picks up from a certain direction. So if you can change the direction or bend part of it to pick up another direction you will probably pick up channel 10.
    You can bend antennas. You can actually make a kick ass cool one based on fractals...just bend some wire to look like a weird snowflake and it works awesome. So don't go spending a ton of money on the digital antennas. It's a lie. Our antenna is not digital and works fine when it's turned in the right direction.
    Also, we bought the cheapest univeral remote and it works best. Also, the digital converter box we have controls the volume with it's remote including mute.

  7. I have old disney vhs tapes from when I was a kid that my kids watch on our VCR. Oh yes, we hem...used the thing until poof, it died. We headed out to find a new one just to discover new ones have apparently reached collectable status and have been priced accordingly. Off to the thrift store we went where we got a newer than our last very good working one for $10.00...yeah! What a find.....and toy story is back in action at my house.

  8. Ah, it's an old southern "rule" that white shoes/pants/etc... can't be worn after Labor day, and being raised in the south, I still follow that rule (at least until it's cold enough to break out the winter whites).