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Unexpected Boy Toy for Christmas

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Unexpected Toy for ChristmasAs much as I do appreciate the gadgets that Susan and Kelly gave me for Christmas, the best boy toy I received might turn out to have come courtesy of our cable – correct that: dish satellite – box going belly up on Christmas Eve.

Susan called the problem in on Thursday, and they had someone out to check it on Friday. Which gave us a new box. With a new remote.

My first impression of the new remote was not that favorable, I must admit.

But new programming features that the new set-up has given me are really starting to grow on me fast. Most of those pretty simple, I’m sure, compared to what’s out in the market these days; but it’s all new to my use of the TV, so it’s no different than a boy who has just received his first Christmas bicycle, even if a Harley would be more fun.

For one, we can add the music channels to favorites lists on this new set. On the old set, since we couldn’t add music to a favorites list and since the music channels were not exactly easy to access by scrolling through screens, that meant having to remember the number of a music channel and punch it in the keypad manually, usually in the dark. Which in practice meant that I rarely listened to music on the TV set, even when we were grousing that there was nothing worth watching, so only left the set on for background noise. With an entire favorites list now devoted exclusively to the music channels that we like, count on our TV becoming more a radio than a video machine during those many hours when TV producers can’t come up with anything worth watching.

And favorites lists can now have more channels, perhaps even the entire list from the looks of it. Although including every channel would obviously defeat the purpose of a favorites list, that extreme is at least better than our old set-up, where the limited number of channels permitted on any one favorites list essentially meant splitting up sets among different lists, resulting in a bit of a quilt for the favorites lists that I had set up. At first I groused about having lost all that past work setting up those old faves, but I pretty quickly got over it when I failed to hit a ceiling under the new system. That changes how we set up the favorites in a way that I think will grow on me pretty comfortably.

What I really had boy-toy fun with last night were the new system’s timers. I can look at the TV schedule ahead for the near term (an evening, or overnight when we leave the set on while sleeping) and set timers so the box switches channels to movies or sports or news or whatever I choose, whenever the time comes for switching. I know, TiVo users and others who have been programming VHS or DVD recording for years would shrug, but I’ve never had this before, and it’s fun to play with. And even when the “Christmas morning fun” wears off, it will still come quite in handy.

Other bits and pieces new and useful too. Bottom line is that I have trashed that negative first impression, and am having silly fun with this new gadget.

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Written by macheide

25 December 2007 at 3:03 am

Posted in television

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