Ellen (ennienyc) wrote,

Bummer-y day (still more TV whining)

At the end of 2002, as we headed into hiatus after a particularly stressful work season, I decided to upgrade my video equipment. Since my TV dated from the mid-70s, it was definitely time. I got a Sony 24" flat-screen TV, a stand specifically designed for it, a DVD/VCR combo, digital cable, and TiVo, all of which C kindly hooked up. I'm still not sure exactly what he did and I've had to call for help when I accidentally pushed the wrong button.

Now I either pushed the wrong button somewhere or the TV is dying. This seems unacceptable after less than 6 years, and I don't even watch very much. Today (or maybe it was yesterday) the video inputs were scrolling rapidly, and I watched another TiVoed episode of "The Hills" in maybe 30-second pieces. Pause. Wait for it to cycle through and come back to the TV mode. Not ideal (and Audrina needs to get rid of Justin/Bobby). The volume started changing on its own as well, with the green bars moving onscreen like an accordion.

I had e-mailed Sony customer service, but they just referred me to a document I'd already found and tried, except for changing the signal source to see if cable was to blame. Now I think I see how to do that (channel selection menu, cable - yes or no), but I haven't been able to get the menu to come up. Remote and on-screen buttons are not working (nor are any other buttons - just the power switch on the TV itself). The screen is stuck on the "no signal" input. Darn, why couldn't it be stuck on the TV input? I unplugged the TV for 4 hours to no avail. I even tried the "whack" method, which actually worked for my iPod, but not here.

Online sources indicate the problem may be a faulty chip in the controller IC, which can be replaced. Or a corroded board. If that's it, it may be worth fixing, though I have no idea of the cost. Both nearby authorized repair places have bad online reviews, but I'm not sure if unauthorized ones will have the correct parts. I think I need to at least get an estimate (and they'll have to come here, since no way can I unwire and lug that TV anywhere), and also make sure I didn't do something dumb like pull out a wire.

Or, should I just forget it and upgrade again? Now there's HDTV (though with digital cable, I'm OK for the transition with the current TV) and HDTV TiVo - or should I switch to Time-Warner HD DVR? I never connected TiVo to my wireless network; the instructions seemed to require a device physically connecting the wireless modem to the TiVo, and they're in different rooms (I could be wrong about this, since I never seriously pursued it). We also didn't have a wire needed to copy from TiVo to VCR, or burn DVDs. On the audio side, I'd love to play my iPod out of my great (1987) stereo speakers, and it would be nice to have a working turntable. So lots of upgrading is possible.

If I did abandon TiVo, I'd need to burn some shows I saved to a DVD or tape. There must be services that do this (or friends who could figure it out). But the main hassle is deciding on the equipment: what to get (will it fit on my stand, or should it go on the wall?), and how to install it. I can't put C through that again and would probably have to hire someone, like a personal shopper for video. There's the Geek Squad, but I'm not sure how good they are. It's too much for my non-techie, shopping-averse brain, and I wish my TV worked so I didn't have to think about it now.

In other news, I had a pass for "Lakeview Terrace" from FilmMetro.com. It was for 2, but the 4 people I asked weren't interested and I just went myself, though I wasn't sure I'd like the movie and almost talked myself out of it. I got there an hour early to find a really long line. Normally the theaters can accommodate seemingly long lines, but this time with about 100 people in front of me and loads behind, they said that was it, they were only giving out 20 more tickets. I left at that point, so it's possible they were mistaken and my part of the line could get in.

I had on uncomfortable flats but walked the 6 blocks to the Times to make a small correction. There was a new pile of giveaway books not in the normal place (took 4), so the day wasn't a total loss. Stopped to grocery shop near home on Broadway, and the walk from there was probably longer than the earlier one. Still no raspberry juice anywhere, and the diet blondie wasn't the freshest.

I'm seeing 2 movies today (I hope), and one's in the afternoon so I'd better get some sleep.

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