Saturday, October 11, 2008

We've got a Little Black Box!

We've all seen the little ticker tape flashing along the bottom of our television screen saying "In February 2009 all analog television signals will be turned off..."

Well, we've never been ones to buy cable or a dish network, so we had to go out and buy The Box. We've only had it for just a few days, but I am already seeing pros and cons to the whole ordeal.

First off, hooking up the boxes was quite simple. Although when we did a scan on our living room television, at first, it would only receive the 3 stations from Channel 2. That's because the box still relies on your television rabbit ear antenna to receive the signals and our antenna was old, and WFRV has the strongest signal. So even though we saved $80 on the two boxes, we still had to invest in a new antenna for our living room in order to get in 9+ channels. And the salesman said they have a special roof antenna we may want to consider buying so that we can receive even more channels. Why does something so simple have to become a big financial ordeal?

Secondly, the picture quality is amazing! It's not a wonder our friends would come over and NOT want to watch our television before. The image was was grainy and would occasionally fade in and out. HOWEVER... with the box, we STILL get poor signals, usually right at pivotal points in a show we're watching, and I STILL have to get up and adjust the antenna to get it to come in clearly again. And sometimes, I just give up and go in Jerry's room to watch my shows, which is sort of a kick in the pants. We bought two different boxes. The one for Jerry's room cost $10 less than the one in the living room but it works better! Although that may just be because his television is newer. Our livingroom television is older than Jerry.

One more advantage Jerry's television has over ours is that his is a built-in DVD/VCR type television. He doesn't need to make any adjustments to watch a movie when he wants to. In the livingroom, it's a different story. We already had a little adaptor box for the DVD player. And the new black box doesn't like the DVD adaptor box. So watching a movie will become a pain in the ass.

I also noticed the other night when an airplane flew over our house that the signal crashed for a good five minutes. So I know EAA is going to TOTALLY suck this year. We live too close to the airport!

I do like the idea of being able to watch my favourite shows on T.V. now, though. I've been watching most of them on line for the past year because we couldn't get in ABC or CBS. We do get them with the new box. But I am still probably going to be catching a lot of them on line simply for the fact that I really hate watching sucky shows while waiting for the show that I DO like to come on. Most of the shows I like don't come on until 9PM anyway. I suppose I really ought to be getting some housework done while I'm waiting for those shows to come on instead of numbly watching something irritating like Heroes.

Jim is liking the classic TV channel, though. It's amusing for him to watch Black Sheep Squadron and Kojak and other shows from our childhood. I do get a kick out of watching Emergency. The clothing styles and home decor is just as amusing as the way they practice medicine!

So I guess buying the box was sort of a step forward. But it's definitely not all it is cracked up to be. And, I suppose when the T.V. in the livingroom dies and we go shopping for a new television, we'll be looking for one with a built in DVD / VCR. But that is years away. Until then, we'll just have to deal.

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