Friday, October 27, 2006

My TV Makes Me Feel Old

I just got back from the local cable office. I returned the DVR box and canceled the service after two days, because it didn't work when I hooked it up. I connected the cables in the way that seemed obvious to me, but it didn't' work, and that's all the time and energy I'm willing to expend on it. Been there, done that. I did look at the instructions, but naturally they did not help at all.

This makes me feel so old! I used to be the only person I knew who could set the time on the VCR. I had a job where I did computer support because I knew more than anybody else in the office. I am a librarian who's been on the Internet since the early 90's. Why can't I deal with this?

I seem to have a mental block against my television and its assorted accouterments. Don't get me wrong -- I love the HD LCD TV we have. HD is fantastic, and videos look 99% as great with the HMDI cable setup. I just can't wrap my head around the cables situation. Every piece of equipment we have -- the TV, the cable receiver, the DVD player, the VCR -- wants to be the only thing used. They each have all the requisite jacks on them (except the VCR, which is old). Hooking any one of them up is pretty straight-forward; it's hooking them together that's the problem. It makes no sense why we have to turn to "video input 5" to watch TV instead of the designated television input, but we do. The cable box wants it that way, apparently. Maybe because it's an HD cable box? Who knows!

I would love to say "and who cares!" but I have to care if I'm going to watch the $50+ a month television programming package from the cable company (the cheapest that gets us HDTV). How can the cable and satellite companies get away with this? If cars were this complicated, only IT people would be able to drive.

I sometimes think I'm lacking in spatial reasoning abilities (geometry was my nemesis), and that's why all the diagrams confuse me. I guess I'd rather lack an ability than have lost the ability to learn technical things. I suspect what I've really lost is motivation and patience. It shouldn't be so hard. I should be able to handle this situation by virtue of having figured out things in the past. Why do I have to start from scratch?

I am not completely through with all the TV stuff, I'm sure. (I'm now considering TiVo, heaven help me). So I haven't given up completely. I just wasn't ready to have YET ANOTHER remote hanging around.

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