Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Analog Girl - Embracing the Static

Yes, she who loves electronics like some folks crave shoes is doing without digital television. This is my first official day. In actuality the first time in 2009 that I turned the TV on was for the inauguration. But I also had it on my computer via a number of services.

I wasn't taking any chances.

I do use the television to watch my VHS videos. If I ever find the rest of the Disney's The Gargoyles on VHS or DVD I'm good to go for a a little bit. That was more like an animated graphic novel than a traditional Disney cartoon series. I really like well done animation that tells stories. The WB Batman series, primo study in the use of shadows and atmosphere.

Where was I?

Oh yeah. My co-workers at the Salt Mine told me that I could go to Radio Shack and pick up the $20 HD antenna that would allow me to see more than the 1 station I can pick up. Channel 46DT. I have a testimonial that it really does work.

Channel 46DT comes in real clear, except when it pixilates. The fact that it is a Spanish television station is a bonus.

Now I am not hating on Channel 46DT. There were times when if I recognized the movie I would listen and try to resurrect what little Spanish I learned in high school. I choose to do that but I don't want to be forced to do that all the time.

My running total for my non-functioning conversion to Digital Television:
  • Got coupon and like a dope only asked for one coupon. Value $40
  • Get converter, cost 59.99, my cost 19.99+tax
  • Converter not play nice with TV which has only a coaxial outie and VHS/DVD player. Can't hook up antenna and VHS/DVD player. Back to the store.
  • Buy RF Modulator that allows me to hook up TV, Combo Player and Antenna. $29.95, total spent is now $49.95
  • DVD/VHS combo breaks, have to get a new unit. Find cheap one at $69.95 Total $119.95
  • Hook everything up. Run auto-scan. Can only get Channel 46DT. Run manual scan. Same blasted thing.
  • I say forget this, I've got DVD, VHS and Hulu. Ah but as I plop in my Dick Tracy video, the old one where Boris Karloff plays a wicked villain, there is a grinding in the DVD unit. It won't open. It won't play. I press buttons, power up and down and in a fit of anger I pull on the DVD drive. I pull the cheap plastic drive holder all the way out. I now have half a functional combo unit.
Now I've seen the videos for building your own DTV antenna and I think I can do that cuz I do have wire coat hangers but I don't have wire cutters and the other stuff. Take a look:

Coat Hanger HDTV Antenna: Better Than Store Bought! AMAZING! - Click here for more home videos

I still have two huge apartments next to me and I will tell anyone who will hear me, I am not climbing on my roof for the current TV season.

Damion, I love you in Life but unless your show continues to post on Hulu we will have a parting of the ways. I'm watching Battlestar Gallactica's last season. I can wait 8 days between shows. They ain't fooling, the last season is ripping traditional television a new one every week. Hey Josh Whedon, you and your girls should watch a few episodes for inspiration. They're be scripting and acting over there Arrrgh...

I do have options. I can continue to watch TV via my computer. It does have advantages and disadvantages. I hear there is a laptop antenna conversion kit that can pull DTV signals. That would be another $50-$70 bucks but I could hook it up and watch TV on the laptop in bed.

Or I can break down and buy a digital TV converter card for my computer. If I do that then I should also think about getting a new monitor.

Do you see the pattern? Money. Each option cost money that I am unwilling to spend for something that hasn't served my needs in years. I'm still sleeping to mighty fine podcasts. I don't need disengaged local and national television any more.

They don't want me either. So it will be a while before I make a decision to spend more money on Channel 46DT or 63 other channels that I may or may not see. No worries, I have love and books to keep me warm.

Now if I could just find my electric blanket.

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