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Then: On & Off

Now: Menu, Select, Source, Guide  

The other day I sat on my remote control.  Now don't laugh, I'm sure this has happened to you, too.  Maybe you didn't sit on the remote, but you pushed a button you didn't mean to push and suddenly that show you've been waiting hours to watch has turned into fuzz.  So what do you do?  The obvious.  Start hitting more buttons. Source.  Menu.  Guide.  Info.  Action.  Each time I pushed a button, my buttons were pushed to the limit.  Regretfully, I had to call my husband (for some reason men's brains have a direct connection to the remote control)and he remedied the situation.  Of course, not without his usual grumbles about my inabilities to learn how the remote works.

It's not that I don't know how it works, it just not something I want to wrap my brain around.    

It used to be so simple.  On. Off.  Volume. Channel (2,4,5,7,11,13) And a knob to adjust the picture, horizontal or vertical.    

Now don't get me wrong, I love all these new cable channels.  At almost any time of the day, we can watch a cute guy preparing food, an explorer trudging through the forests, gyrating musicians, has-been movie stars sharing living quarters, good old classic movies, and infomercials telling us that we have only five minutes to buy a "miracle machine" that will energize our bodies, revitalize our spirits and materialize our dreams before our very eyes.  And all that for only $29.99.

But sometimes it's just too confusing.  The stereo is connected to the amplifier which leads to the DVD/CD player which is wired to the TV which feeds off the satellite box which is picking up signals from outer space.  It's enough to make me feel like an alien in my own home.      

Take the other day for example.

I was babysitting with my grandchildren’s other grandmother when our grandchildren asked to watch a movie.  I mean, a DVD.  

So, here we were, two fairly intelligent college graduates trying to figure out how to get the DVD to play on the TV which only wanted to display a show via cable.  

First, we tackled the TV remote.  Video 1- Video 2- AV –Source.  Over and over those words displayed on the screen.  Next, we used the remote for the DVD player.  Boxes with a million codes appeared.  Suddenly, the words "No input" flashed across the screen.  I had a few choice words to input into the situation, but I kept them to myself, so as not to scare our grandchildren.

Finally, two glasses of wine, four hot flashes and lots of laughter later, we got the darn thing to play...in French!  But at least we had the movie complete with audio and visual.  And somehow switching to English only took a few minutes.  With the help of our three-year-old grandson.  

I was so relieved, I tossed the remote across the room and danced around.  Dizzy with happiness, I flopped onto the couch and you guessed it, sat right on top of the remote!  As the movie turned to fuzz, I picked up a book and announced it was time for bedtime story.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tinaf wrote Sep 20, 2008
    • Funny, Janie!  And oh, yes, recently, no one was home and I decided to watch network TV. But between the cable box, the DVD, VCR, Game Cube and XBox, I was practically in tears. And thinking wistfully back to the days when you simply pulled the on/off button out toward you!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lindao wrote Sep 20, 2008
    • I was so proud of myself because of knowing more about how to use the remote for our TV with its TiVo player than my husband did.  But then we got a new DVD player, and I haven’t the foggiest idea yet how to use it—similar to your situation.  With most things technogical, my husband and I both rely on our younger son, who lives a couple of hours away and visits at his convenience.  You‘re right, Janie.  It was so much easier when things were either on or off!  And I’m not surprised your 3-year-old grandson gets it.  The younger generations seem to be wired that way.
      LindaO



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Sep 20, 2008
    • tinaf - I forgot about XBox, that makes it even more confusing.

      Lindao - You‘re one up on me.  I don’t know anyting about TiVo.

      Janie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sylvia wrote Sep 20, 2008
    • I would love to go back to the days of just an off and on
      switch. These new gadgets drive me wild. Guess I’m getting
      too old. Love this story and all the others. Keep on
      writing as I look forward to reading them.
      Sylvia



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Justjer wrote Sep 24, 2008
    • Well, this will be brief as I am trying not to give in to the mounting stress and headache that I am experiencing due to my inability to get my cell phone working-it does say battery full-and while responding to your blog I was cut off from my comments and had to get back to this box so I coule tell you that I can’t een figure out my computer and cell phone so don’t even get me started on the TV/DVD etc
      etc situation.....I can certainly relate, as I can to all of your stories.  Thanks again for sharing.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janie Emaus wrote Sep 24, 2008
    • Justjer - Sorry for your frustrations.  I can relate.

      Janie



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Chattycathie wrote Oct 3, 2008
    • Okay, this story is my expertize.  Working with video for years, I have friends calling me up and asking me questions all the time.  Many friends have even asked me to set up their TV’s-vcrs-etc....  Most of my customers are like most of you here.  They have no idea about Technology, but they love the things that comes with it.  That’s why they don’t try to make their own DVD’s—and those who think they can call us to come in at the last minute and save them from their disasters of what they tried to do.

      But what this story really reminded me of was something that happened to me a few months ago.  I had a friend who I was helping move.  She was moving into a “senior” mobile home park. As we were pulling things off the truck one of her new neighbors came over about in her 80’s.  She wanted to know if one of the young boys we had could help her figure out her TV.  I didn’t want to take the “boys“(actually they were men-but to her they were boys) away from their job, so I offered to help.  When I came over she showed me the TV and handed me the remote.  Immediately I knew she had this problem before, because everything was taped up on the remote but the on off switch and the channel switch, to keep her from clicking the wrong buttons. This was probably done by her children or grandchildren.  But it hadn’t worked, because somehow she had switched the cable button to TV under the tape and so when she pushed the channel button she was only getting fuzz.  I untaped that part and switched it back to Cable and re taped it.  She applauded me, acting like I had saved the day. If only all problems in life were that easy to fix.

      Cathie
      Tears of Joy Video



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