Sunday 9 May 2010

A dose of television slumber

Come slumber with long vision

Televisions determine where I sleep in my home and that has been the case for years and for a very long time.

A few months ago, my Philips combination television and video cassette recorder in my little bedroom just died, I believe it is the fuse that needs changing, even though I did study electrical/electronic engineering, the last time I looked in the back of a television or cathode ray tube type monitor was probably more than 20 years ago.

I follow the basic instruction that there are no user serviceable parts to play with and consider the matter of replacement whilst sending the old box to the recycling dump for scavenging in the unfortunate places where the material might well be considered valuable.

Sleeping rough at home

The loss of the television meant I moved to my living room where I had a self-inflating mattress for a bed for quite a few months – I sleep with my lights on and to the sound of the television – and though I did without all this in hospital and without television for more than a month after returning home, I am back to that habit and sense of comfort.

For months, I slept “rough” in my living room till I decided to sort out the poor signal to the cable television/Internet socket in the bedroom because the digital television decoder which I acquired almost a year ago could not maintain a connection.

Once I got the plug-in booster I also purchased a basic 24” LCD television with a built-in DVD player and connected up the whole deal only to find out that the digital television decoder had not been registered and enabled by my provider and that will take 72 hours to activate.

All for nothing almost

So, I defaulted to cable and soon found out that my new television could not read channel names off the discovered channels, so I had to rely on visual watermarks to rearrange the channels and I have not yet found out if I could manually label the channels with textual names.

After the 72 hours, I tried the digital television decoder again and it was still saying I was not subscribed to the channels despite the fact that I already had another decoder with digital video recording working in my living room.

As usual, I tried what I had been told before, disconnected the decoder because the smart guys who built it gave it no power switch, on reconnection, the thing had died, probably the fuse – so now, I have to return that decoder in exchange for a new one.

During that week, I resolved to begin to enjoy my home ago and that became my opportunity to move back into my small bedroom and onto my bed again.

Problems with the other television

Meanwhile, my other Sony television which is a cathode ray tube system that I brought over from the UK and then discovered that the PAL system was a group of incompatible systems between countries that I needed a Dutch video cassette recorder to refine the signal for my television, I soon found out that the decoder or even a DVD playback system could refine the signal (Whatever happened to those multi-system televisions of the 1980s that all NTSC, PAL and SECAM systems as default.)

I have had the television for over 10 years, in fact, I still have working gadgets of 16 years, my microwave oven and stereo set, but this morning, I switched on the television and there was a white line at the top of the screen – vertical scan collapse – I thought but why did channel numbers display properly.

All cables to the show

After moving some cables and connections around, I found the television was OK and the problem had to be with the decoder, but the decoder was indicating it could see the channels too.

Switching off the decoder and then switching it back on again meant that my living room has returned to life with a television and there was no need to send two decoders back.

Tomorrow morning I pick up my telephony equipment to connect to cable, I decided not to reconnect my original landline after the telephone company I had been a customer of for 9 and a half years cut my communication off completely – such unsympathetic and heartless businesses do not deserve my custom at all.

The grip television has on us and what really do we watch that is so compelling? You tell me.

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