Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Digital TV.

Ok, we all know the programming is shit but its not about content, it's about the process by which you access it. The remote controls are too small, the button names are not demonstrative of their purpose and the tuning is utter rubbish. Of the 100 or so channels available only 20 odd are worth having, if that.

In this instance less is definitely more. The BBC might be old fashioned and biased but at least you know where you stand; period drama and dull detective series (yes, Morse was dull, it just was, shut up if you think it wasn't.) Channel Four and Five can be relied upon for porn and quirky American sitcoms respectively and STV is great for parochial Scottish news.

But listen, are we going to have to retune our parents TV's every six months? If we are, we're also going to have to delete the 70 odd channels of crap they'll never watch. Gay Rabbit, Russia Today, ESPN, Al Jezeera, several radio stations, several selling channels, several kids channels, Television X, RHAMA PPN, RHM PPN and RHF PPM (their caps.) The alluring ExGF PPN, guess what the GF stands for in that title... Suffice to say, neither of my parents watch porn, well, I say that, my Dad would if he could. Last time I was in retuning due to a catastrophic loss of channels he asked "what did you do?" I hate to sound patronising (and I'm not sure what I did anyway) but there's no point in explaining because he'd never understand or remember. My Mum isn't bothered as long as its working again, she's not interested in the method or path we took to this TV Soap opera heaven.

I suppose its a microcosm (what a totally wanky word but I'm going with it) of the internet age, it's all about buttons and acronyms, if you didn't grow up with it you'll never get it, some might say this isn't a bad thing. I lasted a month without my TV, the main reason I plugged it back in was because I ran out of music to listen to and I kind of balked at the continued direct debit for the cable TV.

Ok, that was a slight lie, I live on my own and the TV is company, I enjoy shouting if it's crap or if I accidentally pause on E4 and My Super Sweet Sixteen happens to be on (substitute loathsome for sweet.) Also, the film Love Actually (a guilty pleasure I have) is usually on one channel or another at some point in the evening... I can't believe I actually typed that... But then no one will read this so its fine.

My Dad once phoned me at 11pm, he'd dropped the remote down the back of the couch and needed me to come and pick it up. At the time I lived 30 miles away and if I'm being honest, was a bit (as in totally) shit-faced. This digital telly is only going to be worse, he'll get lost in the high twenties between Dave and Challenge TV, he'll paw at the buttons on the remote and end up with some menu on the TV he'll never be able to get rid of.

I'm going to have to drink even more or I'll find myself constantly going up to his place to 'exit' the 'epg' or some other obscure menu system. The last TV related request was this:
"Can you come up and sort the volume out on this new TV?" he said.
"Ok" said I, "what's up with it?"
"Well it only goes up to 62 and I can't hear it very well."
"Ok, that sounds like full blast to me, I can hear it in the background, well I say background but-"
"Yeah but its only 62, it should go up to 100. 62% isn't loud enough."
"Right. Ok. It's not a percentage, it's just a guide." I said.
"No" says the ex-alcoholic suffering from liver failure and acute encephalopathy (which means confusion and forgetfulness) "it should go to 100%."

I've just checked on my TV, 100 is the loudest it'll go. Sometimes these things happen and I feel a bit daft but his TV does only go to 62, he's just going a wee bit deaf.

I'm old fashioned, digital TV is a bit like the smart phone revolution. Do we need the internet on the go? Do we need an app for every eventuality? Do we need an apt TV program for every minute of the day?

I don't, but then I'm old and crap so what the hell do I know?

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Thanks for comment as always and I apologise if you have to jump through any hoops to do so. Its just that, I'm still being spammed by organisations who are certain I can't get it up or when it is up its not big enough or that I don't have anyone to get it up for.

Who knew blogging could be so bad for ones self-confidence?