Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More Digitalism

I'm still frustrated by the digital TV transition. It seems that the reliability of the reception is worse than the old analog signal. And while I can get all of the broadcast channels out here in the office/studio (what would normally be the living room), our den (the larger bedroom) is apparently a digital deadzone, and only gets half the available channels. What is it about that 30 foot difference that makes it impossible to pick up those stations?

I've tried all manner of antenna orientations to attempt to fix the problem, but with no results. And since the contents of that room can basically only fit in that space one way, I don't even have the option of moving the TV to the other side of the room or anything. Though I do still have to constantly adjust the antenna in the studio everytime I change the channel to keep all those stations (and I still never get above about 60% reception, according to the box, no matter what I do). Funny how I never had that problem before.

Also, because we're extremely low-tech and low in funds, we still have a VCR, which until recently I programmed to record various shows for later viewing. Jenny works late some nights, and misses shows, and there are also shows that are on different channels at the same time. Soooo, I'd program the VCR for the week on Sunday and be good to go.

But now, I can't use our ancient technology to record programs. Well, technically I can - but I can only record a program I'm already watching, which kinda defeats the purpose. In order to record something different I'd need a second converter box for that TV, to hook into the VCR, and a slpitter. And I still couldn't program the VCR to switch back and forth between channels....

Since this seems to be a nefarious plot by the cable companies to make you switch to using a DVR, I even did some pricing for cable. But there's no way we can afford an extra $30 - $50 a month. And we really don't need another 100 channels - whatever happened to Basic Cable anyway? It seems it's not even an option anymore.

So, yeah, not impressed at all. Just means that half our shows we have to watch at the kitchen table, instead of sitting on the couch, because they don't come in on the TV in the den. And it looks like we'll be watching a lot of our missed shows on Hulu, instead of recording it. Which also means not sitting on the couch. I guess we've still got plenty of movies we can watch in there....

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