Monday, January 07, 2008


New TV. New Blu-Ray DVD player, new Audio/video receiver. Three new remotes. Oh - and Tivo-HD. FOUR remotes. Way too many buttons. I discover that maybe I am after all, a type A when it comes to electronics. Here's the equation according to me: I push the button, something happens.

But where once upon a simpler time buttons were switches, nice mechanical ones, now they are instructions for a computer to get on with some program. High definition TV has a LOT of data, so the computer takes some time to make that command.

Now here I am sitting with the TV and receiver and DVD player and TiVo all on, but nothing but a blank screen. I push a button. Nothing happens. I push the button again and point the remote better. Nothing happens. I stab at the air in the direction of the gear. Nothing happens.

I push button two, same thing, and on and on, for maybe 15 buttons, growing increasingly impatient.

It turns out that some of these buttons require several SECONDS for a response. So I push, and while the electronics is going, "yes, that means do this, that means swap this data and..." while now I push the button again: "yes, start over, that means do this, swap this data and..." starting the cycle over again. The cycle that I don't know about due to lack of evidence.

Then I screw up one thing on each remote. Now we are REALLY flying blind becuase unless all 3 or 4 remotes are right, no picture. It's like a slot machine.

That's when I discovered I am type A. I don't want the electronics to think, just DO IT!

The dvd player freezes. I look at the remotes, (one of which is in my hand) did I do that? Did YOU do that? What IS that? How do you undo that? I push buttons and more buttons. Is the dvd defective? Is there an unfreeze button? Why won't it back up? Now I lose the picture altogether. Now I've turned the dvd player off, and the tv (each of which takes about 30 seconds to come back ON - the tv also takes another 30 to power DOWN.)

I know, the universal remote. In one way, the receiver remote is like that. Push one button and all the other buttons become OTHER other buttons.


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