14 August 2008

Not a complete spendthrift, it seems

It could be worth mentioning that I am not a Luddite. I may look like one, but blogging should certainly fly in the face of that notion.

This weekend my VCR gave up the ghost. Something fried, as not only did it fail to power up, but the cable/antenna boost it gave my aged television also disappeared. Perfect for fall, I thought. Some of the flexibility of summer permits a little too much casual and accidental vegging viewing. More time for NPR and listening to music.

This resolve was hastily dismissed on Monday night as I made my way home along a less traveled route and past a major shopping center. I was in Big Gadget Purchase Box Store and out with a VCR with DVD player and recorder, not within spitting distance of the budget plan which had me listening to the radio, before I knew where my planning genes had gone. Worth mentioning here that I have not ever had a DVD player and had long since removed Blockomoviester from my holiday card list the day they swept all their stores of VCR tapes and replaced everything with discs. Again worth mentioning that I do not fear changes in technology, I just don't care to ditch working equipment due to this aggressive sort of planned obsolescence.

The television I have is a wee bit old. I have been fortunate enough in my adult life to have only owned two very cast off televisions, both of which were gifts in which I was gracious enough to dismiss the pity/incredulity of the giver. (First - You don't HAVE? Then - You only have that little black and white thing?) This my second television only has little screw heads to which to attach your antenna/e or cable - two sets, VHF and UHF. Lovely little adapters help the coaxial cables talk to the television through the VHF route. And while the dearly departed VCR was new enough to come equipped with lovely little yellow and red, audio and video, right and left plugs, the VCR was flexible enough to still talk to the television through the coaxial cables while the rest went idle. I used the VCR to access the cable channels, and was delighted to learn that even replacement universal remotes that ignored the television worked nicely with the VCR.

Turns out that something else has changed in the planned obsolescence schemes, however. Newly purchased machine requires connections through BOTH the coaxial and the little yellow, red, audio, video, left and right plugs. I read through everything three times and then packed up the whole business. I returned everything to the Best Return Treatment Ever counter. That was the end of my impulse purchase moment, and I escaped unscathed.

I told them I'd come back when the television died.

Yes I do know about the February converter box issues.

I'm not going to act in haste this time. I'm thinking.

PS. I did remember to try sending the coax from the VHF straight to the wall - great VHF antenna boost. I think I trashed the old antenna, though, so UHF will have to muddle along without my attention.


Helen said...

we just bought a new DVD player...with these special features we know we will want when we buy a new TV many years in the future...sheesh. technology

Helen said...

hang out with me and i'll save you money. except at Stitches. Next week. Seriously, come to my place and we'll drive together. I'll call Heather, too. I'm right off 90. or 294. but from your way, and in the morning...yuck ;)

Kathy Kathy Kathy said...

UHF does fine without my attention. I manage to watch it all fuzzy if there's something good on, which there isn't mostly. Let me know what you decide to do about the February thing. I could use a little planning in my life so long as I'm not responsible for it. Yes, I see and appreciate the ambiguity in the previous sentence.