Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Television Idiot

I remember when I first heard about the writer's strike. I thought, "Okay, the writers and the studio owners (whoever management is) are going to fight over this for a week or two and that will be that.

The only thing I have really learned is that most series are only running part of a season ahead of their scripts. I didn't know that. I really don't know much about television.

When I was growing up, television was not complicated. There were two knobs, VHF and UHF1, and you just turned them to one of four stations that the television received. Okay, sometimes you had to play with the rabbit ears, but it was a piece of cake to do. And there was no hunting for the remote, because there were no remotes. No tiny buttons, no fumbling in the dark, wondering if you are going to hit the volume up or the disable DVD button. Well, not sure what the button is, but it sure screws with watching a DVD.

Well, we just bought a new television. Actually, I am not sure we purchased a television, based on the several acronyms used on the box. We have no cable, no dish, just rabbit ears. Funny thing is that now, the over-the-air channels are crisper than before.

And I get more channels. Actually, one of the channels, 11.2 (WTOC Weather is like having a weather channel). I am a little confused that some of the channels are "split." For instance, CBS has three channels, sort of. And the weirdest thing is that broadcast television sometimes looks better than DVDs. It is all about resolution – broadcast television, for the digital stations, seem to be at 1080 DPI. DVDs are at 480 DPI.

I thought that Blue Ray or HD-DVD was a waste of money – who needs to see better than a normal DVD. Of course, with my logic, I would still be tuning into radio to listen to the president's fireside chats while pinning up my blouse on a clothesline. I hate that there is no clear leader of Blu-Ray verses HD DVD.2 Before I got my new, er, television, I would not have wanted either technology. Now I don't like watching DVDs on my television. Son-of-a-bitch marketers.

We gave our television away – the old one – and that's why we had to buy a new one. The old television had a DVD/VCR player in it, and now that it is gone, we can't watch VCR videos. And I wonder if I will buy a new player. I mean, what is the point. We did have an old DVD player – was not used, actually. Sometimes I think me and hubbie are so weird – without cable/dish, giving away equipment before we replace it, etc. Completely weird.

Plus I learned in a year that normal televisions won't work without some type of converter – if you want to watch TV from an antenna. Our government is sort of pushing this – and they will be spending more than a billion dollars to help out people with converter boxes. Yeah. Not sure I understand this. Personally I am surprised that we are not giving out digital televisions to felons, people on welfare, and congress people.

Me, I am wondering if we can trade our new TV for the one we just gave away. Because the videos on the old TV seemed okay to me.

Television technology really confuses me. The best thing about books? I won't need a converter. I have books published hundreds of years ago, and you know what? I can still read them.

1They stand for very high frequency and ultra high frequency.
2Looks like Blu-Ray has a slight advantage right now. Blu-Ray is winning in Japan, Warner only makes Blu-Ray disks now, and several retailers are giving more shelf space to Blu-Ray.


Sister Sassy said...

Have you seen the sketch from british comedy show about the Technical Help line for the newly introduced book? Its a hoot! It's back in the dark ages and they've just created books and this tech guy of the time has to come give technical assistance to the man who is learning how to use a book instead of scrolls. You can find it on youtube.

I too am in trouble with the HDTV bunny ears and old tv just will not be able to deal. But I don't watch anymore- I just get things from Netflix for when I do want to watch otherwise I read or write.

Anonymous said...

I was trying to explain this to my wife the other day. My TV is 17 years old. The On/Off button is broke so I have to use the remote to turn it off. We just leave it on now. I hope and pray that 500 pound behemoth will crater and I can go to Wal-Mart and get something half-way decent.

I'm worried about what will happen to those who don't have $50 a month for cable/satellite or can't afford the $70 box for their new TV's. I kind of thought TV was a communications necessity. They say that when there is an emergency TV's will pick up the emergency broadcast. So am I supposed to just leave an old TV on all day watching nothing just in case there is an emergency?

BTW - get DirecTV, it's so much better than cable.


Leesa said...

sassy: thanks for dropping by - I have not see you around here before.

edge: I don't think I will get Direct TV or cable. I just don't watch that much television.

Sister Sassy said...

I'm a first time reader- my sister sent me this link because you were talking about TV and I don't really watch it anymore.

Btw, the sketch is a dutch sketch, not British. Oops- :)

~Deb said...

I don't get it Leesa-----now who are they trying to push to go to digital? See, I have a plasma flat screen with HD. So, would I need a converter box? I don't get it. Or is it more for people like my parents who still have a tube TV relying on the good ol' radio waves on their antenna?

Books are great. I think I'll convert back to them.

Leesa said...

sassy: isn't it weird to be a little left of center? I love it.

~deb: I am about the last person to answer this question, but relatively new TVs have the right receivers to pick up the digital signal.

Sister Sassy said...

Thanks Lees!
Deb, I think you just need a High Definition TV which your TV should have it on there somewhere I'd think. I know our new tv, 4 years old new doens't have HDTV so unless its much newer than that it might not be a given.

Prata said...

Supposedly the FCC is providing (you'll have to check their site) vouchers to get some money off of converter boxes should you need one.

The Blu-Ray spec isn't completely finished; however, I have a PS3 and so I have a Blu-Ray player. I am a bigger fan of Blu-Ray than HD-DVD for a couple of reasons. I just hope it's not BetaMax all over again, because BetaMax was better than VHS but you see how that went.